(Editor?s Note: We got a correction from our reporter Philip Tubeza that only 6 LAW SCHOOLS, not 7, will be closed because East Central Colleges has voluntarily phased out its law school.)
MANILA, Philippines -- The Commission on Higher Education has decided to close down six law schools across the country because not one of their graduates passed the bar exams in the last 10 years, CHEd chairman Emmanuel Angeles said on Wednesday.
Angeles said CHEd decided to crack the whip on these law schools for consistently posting a a performance percentile rank of ?zero? in the bar examinations administered by the Supreme Court from 1999 to 2009.
?We are forced to close down the following law schools that fail to comply with CHED standards,? Angeles said in an interview.
?CHED has made a thorough and careful study of the performance of higher education institutions on how their law graduates fair in the Bar Exams in terms of quantity of successful examinees for the past ten years,? he added.
Angeles said that they would start with the law programs of six higher education institutions (HEI) -- Eastern Samar State University, Polytechnic College of La Union, Samar College, Ramon Magsaysay Technological University, Southern Bicol College, and Abra Valley College.
He said five other HEIs -- the East Central Colleges, the Virgen De Los Remedios College, International Harvardian University , Manuel A. Roxas Educational Institution, and the Zamboanga A.E. College -- voluntarily phased out their law programs after a review of their bar exam records.
Angeles said CHEd reviewed the bar exam performance of the country?s law schools based on the data provided by the Supreme Court.
?These law schools that have been getting zero percent will be advised to shut down their law programs,? Angeles said.
He added that universities and colleges that had only ?less than five percent? of their graduates passing the bar from 1999 to 2009 would also be warned to improve their performance.
?We have to act now in order to put our education system in the proper standard and improve the competencies of our graduates and professionals so that we can compete in the global arena starting with how we produce our law graduates,? Angeles said.
While cracking down on ?non-performing? law schools, the CHEd chairman also released a list of the country?s ?Top 20 law schools in terms of their percentile passing rate.?
?The Top 20 schools should serve as model to other law schools in terms of producing successful first-time takers of the Bar Exams, minimizing wastage and frustration in graduates,? Angeles said.
These schools were Ateneo de Manila University, San Beda College, University of the Philippines, Far Eastern University-DLSU (Juris Doctor-MBA), Ateneo de Davao University, University of San Carlos, University of Santo Tomas, University of Cebu, University of Perpetual Help-Rizal, and Arellano University.
Also included were the Xavier University, Far Eastern University, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, University of San Agustin, University of Batangas, Palawan State University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Saint Louis University, Lyceum of the Philippines, and the San Sebastian College-Recolectos de Manila.
Angeles said CHEd would also review the other programs of HEIs that require licensure exams administered by the Professional Regulatory Commission.
?We have allotted a reasonable amount of the CHED?s budget for the special monitoring of the performance of HEIs in the programs that they are offering,? he said.