The government is now planning to revive the National College Entrance Examination (NCEE) to handle the inflow of students in state-funded higher education institutions as President Rodrigo Duterte signed on August 3 a new law that would provide free tuition in state universities and colleges (SUCs).
Republic Act 10931 or the “Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act” that President Duterte has signed gives full tuition subsidy for students in SUCs, local universities and colleges (LUCs), and state-run technical-vocational schools. It covers other charges such as fees on library, computer, laboratory, school, athletic, admission, development, guidance, handbook, entrance, registration, medical and dental, cultural and other similar or related fees. It also provides financial assistance and student loan programs for college students.
Over the weekend, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Commissioner J. Prospero de Vera told to The STAR that there are discussions to administer the NCEE to manage the influx of students to SUCs.
“We will tell the SUCs and LUCs to tighten their admission and retention policies to ensure that they will provide quality education,” De Vera added.
However, the CHED executive emphasized that re-implementing the NCEE would need the support of Congress as it was eliminated through a law.
To recall, Former President Fidel Ramos signed Republic Act 7731 in 1994 which revoked an order implementing the NCEE. This order also disallowed colleges and universities from refusing the admission of high school graduates who failed the nationwide test.
There is still no response whether there are discussions with legislators to nullify the law.