MANILA (UPDATE) - The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Wednesday warned that 424 students could lose their scholarships if they would be mass promoted or given automatic passing marks amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
CHED chairman Prospero De Vera III called on 17 higher education institutions (HEIs) to provide numerical grades to the students, which will serve as basis if they are still qualified to receive financial assistance from the government.
"The problem was caused by HEIs who did a 'pass all' policy in their 2nd semester," De Vera said in a statement.
"I made it very clear in CHED announcements that while the grading system of HEIs are determined and exercised by individual HEIs in the exercise of their academic freedom, any decision to adopt a 'pass all' policy must ensure that the interests of individual students are not compromised," he said.
“CHED has already warned HEIs last June that students who are on merit scholarship and need numeric grades will be severely affected by HEIs that do this."
The students are beneficiaries of CHED Merit Scholarship Program (CMSP), an education grant that relies on the scholastic performance or grades of applicants in the government's priority degree programs.
The CMSP scholars are required to maintain a general weighted average (GWA) of at least 85 percent or its equivalent if they are a full scholar, or 80 percent or its equivalent if a half scholar, the CHED said.
"If the HEIs will not give them numeric grades, what will be the basis to determine if the students will get financial assistance from the government?” De Vere said.
The 17 HEIs that have CHED merit scholars and grantees but reportedly adopted a "pass all" policy are the following:
- Saint Mary’s University
- Bataan Heroes Memorial College
- De La Salle University – Dasmariñas
- STI College Rosario
- University of the Philippines Los Baños
- Cavite State University
- Mary Help of Christians College-Salesians Sisters Inc.
- Ateneo de Naga University
- Partido College
- Pili Capital College, Inc.
- Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology
- University of the Philippines-Visayas
- Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology
- Mindanao State University- Naawan
- Polytechnic University of the Philippines - Sta. Mesa, Manila
- University of Baguio
- Mindanao State University – Marawi
“CHED has given these HEIs until Oct. 30, 2020 to provide the numerical grades so that our CHED Regional Offices (CHEDROs) can properly evaluate the GWA of the scholars and determine their eligibility to continue,” De Vera said.
However, CHED in a statement Friday said it was informed that 2 HEIs did not implement a "pass all" policy.
The Ateneo de Naga University instead gave students the option to get either a nonnumerical grade or passing grade.
Meanwhile, De La Salle University in Dasmariñas has given its academic departments liberty to develop a grading system "based on its specific experience which may be distinct from one another," the CHED said.
"While the Commission recognizes the options given by these HEIs for faculty members to give either a 'pass' or numeric grade to their students, it is imperative that numeric grades be given to all CHED merit scholars so that they can be properly assessed to determine if they can continue to enjoy their scholarship benefits," De Vera said in the latest statement.