Board exam flunkers

March 23, 2023 People's Tonight 124 views

HUNDREDS of thousands, possibly millions, of degree holders are unable to practice their profession because of their inability to pass government-administered licensure examinations.

They include nursing, education, accounting and engineering graduates, who are forced to accept local and overseas jobs not related to their courses, according to records.

The situation is alarming, disturbing and saddening considering “yong laki ng ginastos ng mga magulang para lang makatapos sa kolehiyo ang kanilang mga anak,” a mother said.

That’s why we commend a well-meaning member of the House of Representatives for urging his colleagues to consider implementing “alternative licensing routes.”

Northern Samar Rep. Paul R. Daza said Congress and the Professional Regulation Commission ought to find a way for a degree holder to acquire a license without taking a board exam.

PRC statistics showed that the average passing rate in 36 licensure examinations from 2017 to 2022 was only 40.81 percent, according to Congressman Daza.

Specifically, Daza noted how accounting, fishery technology and agriculture graduates have “staggeringly low” 24.36, 33.18 and 36.92 percent passing rates, respectively.

But the Northern Samar solon was quick to say that the students or graduates themselves must not to be blamed.

Daza said “ito pong mga board exams are anti-student, anti-poor and arbitrary. Hindi po yan kasalanan ng students,” adding government agencies “need to find solutions.”

One solution to the problem, he said, is the implementation of an apprenticeship program. A college graduate may be allowed to practice his/her profession under a licensed professional.

After undergoing the said apprenticeship program, then he or she is qualified to be licensed pending the submission of performance requirements and related training certificates.

Certainly, addressing the problems of board exam flunkers is a move in the right direction.