Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Bill proposes free college ICT course for public HS grads

A lawmaker is pushing for the approval of a measure providing for a two-year college degree course in information and communications technology to all high school graduates of public schools throughout the country in state colleges and universities.

Rep. Raul del Mar (1st District, Cebu City) has filed House Bill 28, which aims to help families of underprivileged high school graduates to still send their children to college through a free college ICT education.

“This proposed legislation is a first concrete step towards providing the deserving graduates of our public high schools with appropriate quality college education keyed to the demands of a highly competitive marketplace,” Del Mar said.

Under the bill to be known as “Free Information and Communications College Education Act of 2013,” qualified students intending to enroll or already enrolled in ICT course will no longer be required to pay tuition and other school fees and shall be entitled to such other incentives or subsidies as may be granted under the proposed act.

The Cebuano lawmaker said the beneficiaries should have the right to choose the public or state college or university of his choice within the city, province or region, as the case may be, to enjoy the free college education benefit.

Adequate funds shall be earmarked by the president from available funds in the national treasury for the initial implementation. Likewise, the president can utilize available funds or savings of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) or the Department of Education.

The bill provides a limitation to the right of any student to avail of free college education. It shall terminate if he fails for two consecutive semesters in the majority of the subjects in which he is enrolled during the course of his study.

Also, the bill mandates that state colleges or universities have the obligation to admit qualified beneficiaries. Refusal of admission shall constitute a ground for dismissal of the school authorities concerned.

The CHED is authorized to formulate a two-year college curriculum geared to provide students with highly competitive training or skills consistent with the manpower demands of a highly competitive business environment.

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