By Kean Andrei Bagaipo | September 28, 2023
Lack of teachers and physical facilities hampered the Silliman University (SU) College of Engineering and Design’s (CED) enrollment, further decreasing its student population this school year, Dean Maria Lorena Tuballa confirmed.
As of September, the CED Office of the Secretariat reported 923 officially enrolled students, a 15-percent drop compared to the previous year’s more than 1,000 enrollees.
“Lisod jud mi classroom [We have difficulty in classrooms]. We have very limited laboratories like 20 maximum, unya 20 students ra gihapon ang ma-cater kada room [and only 20 students can be catered per room],” Tuballa said.
She also pointed out that the “incompetitive salary of teachers” compared with other industries and organizations makes it “more difficult” for them to attract full-time applicants.
According to Tuballa, the ongoing problems with “staff shortages and limited laboratories” prompted the college administration, with the university’s support, to “control the population” through entrance exams since last year.
She added that the exam was also to “ensure the quality of some departments” such as civil engineering, which had “low board exam performance” in the previous years.
Recently, the university produced 21 newly licensed civil engineers who passed the April 2023 Civil Engineering Examination, logging a 33-percent passing rate, the lowest since 2022.
Moreover, with the changes and problems in their college, Tuballa expected that the population decrease would continue in the following years unless the “university will become generous to their requests.”
CBA student council agrees on ‘faculty shortage’
In a statement, the College of Business Administration (CBA) Student Council said that they “agree with CED on the part of the shortage of faculty.”
“In some cases, teachers ask about student’s current schedules to be more adaptive and flexible with theirs; although there may be a schedule provided, we would also want to consider the fact that these teachers are bombarded with work,” the council stated.
They also noted that the approval of the “miscellaneous [fee] increase” affected the students, which compelled them to “lessen their council fee” this school year.
As of this semester, CED and CBA topped the other six colleges with a significant drop in the percentage of enrollees.
The Weekly Sillimanian has contacted the CED student council and CBA Dean to hear their sides on the said matter, but they have not yet responded as of this writing.