The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Panel of Geologists found out that the absence of resident geology instructors in Negros Oriental State University (NORSU) is the major cause of graduates’ poor performance during the August 2010 Geology Board Examinations.
On the recent exam, only three out of 12 takers passed, giving NORSU an alarming 25 percent passing rate.
Thus, the CHED staff composed of Project Technical Staff Merlin N. Fabricante, CHED Panel for Geology Chairperson Dr. Rene Claveria, and Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Board of Geology Chairperson Dr. Emmanuel Tamesis, on September 15, 2010, conducted a background check to crack the root cause of the undesirable board exam result.
“If the faculty members are part timers and the face to face approach between them [teacher and students] is usually once a month, that’s a big problem,” said Fabricante.
Aside from this, the CHED representatives also reviewed the course syllabus for geology and commented that the subjects under the curriculum should mainly focus on the course.
According to Fabricante, in other schools, the number of units in every semester would only reach 15 to 18 unlike in NORSU where students are given 23 to 24 units every semester. He added that geology is a ‘demanding course’, so students should not be given any other extra subjects for it will divide their time.
Fabricante suggested that it would be better to give the students a copy of the course syllabus so that it will serve as their guide for self-study sessions because of the fact that NORSU geology students lacks regular teachers.
While for Claveria, he commented that students should be given an option to choose between having an on-the-job training (OJT) or make a thesis which is equivalent to three units since they noticed that thesis writing is not included in the course syllabus.
The panel of geology from CHED believed that making thesis will give the students more reason to study harder aside from the things they are currently doing.
NORSU can’t afford licensed geology instructors—Taring
Answering this deficiency on having qualified and regular instructors in Geology,
College of Arts and Sciences Dean Violeta Taring revealed that the university cannot afford licensed geologists to teach in NORSU because the school cannot afford their teaching fee.
“Licensed geologists would earn 50 to 60 thousand a month in mining companies, while NORSU can only offer 15 thousand,” she continued.
The dean opined that they are trying their best to suffice the needs of students regarding their education.
Taring said that students are having online teaching with their instructors. “They are given assignments and projects to work on online,” she added pointing on the willingness of students to learn despite the tribulations of the course.
For Physics and Geology Department Chair Eduardo Iso, education of students is not a problem because the latter are eager to learn because what is important is the students’ positive attitude to learn.
He said that what happened to Geology graduates during the board exam was only normal like any other schools. He added that other prominent institutions even got zero percent passing rate.
He stressed that producing topnotchers on the past Geology Board Exams was a “good proof that students are learning in this institution.”
Moreover, Iso is optimistic that there will be improvements in the Geology Department later this year. He shared that new Physics and Geology laboratory rooms will be constructed in the 4th floor of the Science and Technology building.