Feature: First NCEE, now NCAE
By Aurora J. Casimpan
Tacloban City (18 January) — Examinations have been used as a gauge in accessing an examinee’s preparation for acceptance in a field of endeavor.
The education sector has been a player in giving tests in the area of readiness whether in the pursuit of higher education or work related.
The middle seventies saw the dawning of the importance of preparing students for college readiness. Thus in 1974, the Marcos government through the then Department of Education, Culture and Sports mandated that all graduating high school students need to pass the National Entrance Examination for college education. Failure in the said test meant a vocational course or any two-year degree courses.
The yearly examination was documented after it got embroiled in controversial issues of statistically improbable percentage passing of some schools and computer bug-downs resulting to an arbitrary decision to pass all takers.
Both the DECS and the NCEE has evolved into what is now the Department of Education and the National College Assessment Examinations, respectively. The objective of the examination has also changed from being a sieve between a college degree or a vocational course. The NCAE according to DepEd Undersecretary Vilma Labrador is simply a guide for students on what courses to take in college. Unlike in the NCEE, the NCAE is a requirement but will not result into a passing or a failure mark.
Taking the NCAE is also free of charge or fees and the DepEd has warned the public that unscrupulous persons might take advantage of the NCAE and collect money from uninformed parents and students.
Expectedly, it is during examination times that unsuspecting parents and students fall prey or are victimized by unscrupulous persons collecting money supposedly as payment for the NCAE.
To ensure that nobody is victimized, all schools graduating fourth years should issue a bulleting on non-charges or fees for the tests. Better yet, parents of test takers should be properly informed through letters of what the test is all about and the corresponding warning on no payment. That way, avoidance of victims is ensured. If it was not done this year, it can be done next year if the NCAE is still there.
An informed parent is better than facing its wrath.