'Problematic,' says CHED of online college, university entrance exams during pandemic

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 17 2020 05:12 PM | Updated as of Aug 17 2020 07:41 PM

MANILA — The conduct of online examinations for the admission of students to colleges and universities is "problematic," the Commission on Higher Education said Monday, as schools avoid in-person tests due to the continuing threat of COVID-19.

CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera said the integrity of online entrance examinations can be questionable, hence the need to redesign the test.

"Kailangan baguhin mo ang disenyo ng exam kapag gagawin mong online. So, iyan iyong medyo problematic area sa ngayon pagdating ng entrance exam para sa Academic Year 2021 [to] 2022," De Vera told TeleRadyo.

(You need to change the design of the exam if you will administer it online. So, that's the slightly problematic area for now when it comes to the entrance exam for Academic Year 2021 [to] 2022.)

"Ang mahirap kasi sa online [examination], hindi mo alam kung ang bata ang sumasagot o may sumasagot para sa kaniya," he explained.

(What's difficult in online examination is you don't know if it's the student who is answering or someone else is answering for them.)

De Vera cited the University of the Philippines, (UP) which was not yet ready to administer its entrance exam, taken by over 100,000 applicants each year.

"Ang nagkaka-problema ngayon ang UP, sa UPCAT (University of the Philippines College Admission Test) kasi 'di nakadisenyo ang UPCAT na online," he said.

(UP has a problem now with UPCAT because UPCAT was not designed for online.)

School officials are avoiding the conduct of in-person exams to avoid exposing applicants to the threat of COVID-19, which has already infected over 164,000 in the country.

De Vera earlier said several higher education institutions have waived entrance examinations and would instead assess students' admission based on their high school general average.

Last week, the University of Santo Tomas (UST) announced it would not administer its entrance exam this year.

Admission to UST for Academic Year 2021 to 2022 shall be done through the University of Santo Tomas Admission Rating (USTAR), "a score that will be computed from a number of parameters derived largely from the academic performance and record of the applicant," the university said.