KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 23 July) – The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) formally recognized on Friday the conversion as a higher education institution of the South Cotabato State College (SCSC) in Surallah town.
CHED Chairperson Prospero de Vera III personally led the awarding of the plaque of recognition to SCSC to acknowledge the upgrading of its status from an agricultural school into a full state college, the first for the province.
The commission initially approved SCSC’s status as a state college last Jan. 22, as it declared it compliant with the necessary requirements following a stringent evaluation and validation process.
Edward Lovell Brillantes, SCSC acting president, said the recognition is an “answered prayer” for the province’s residents.
“It’s a dream of South Cotabatenos and now we are about to start our first school year,” he said in his acceptance speech during CHED-Region12’s Gawad Parangal held at the South Cotabato Gymnasium and Cultural Center.
He credited the accomplishment to the efforts of the municipal government of Surallah, the second congressional district office and the provincial government of South Cotabato, in partnership with the college administration.
Brillantes said it will mainly benefit the indigenous peoples and the “less fortunate” residents in the province’s 10 towns and lone city, and the neighboring localities.
He said they will now have an opportunity to study in a state college and are assured of getting free and quality education.
Formerly known as Surallah National Agricultural School, SCSC was formally established through Republic Act (RA) 11150 signed on Dec. 18, 2018 by President Rodrigo Duterte.
It mandated the new state college “to provide both advanced instruction and research in agriculture, allied technological sciences, education and its related sciences; undertake extension and development programs; and, provide necessary instructional and research leadership in agriculture, environmental and technological development.”
In a briefer, SCSC said it started its preparations and compliance with the conversion requirements in early 2019 and initially submitted the initial documents, which included a five-year development plan, in January last year.
Its approved programs are Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, Bachelor of Agricultural Technology and Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management.
Deputy Speaker and South Cotabato second district Rep. Ferdinand Hernandez, the principal author of RA 11150, said the CHED recognition on the former agricultural school’s conversion into a state college is “well-deserved.”
He said the SCSC administration worked hard to comply with all the requirements to become a full-fledged college and finally operate starting the academic year 2021-2022.
“This is just the beginning and more work needs to be done,” Hernandez said in a recorded message.
He expressed confidence that the new state college will continue to expand and develop further in the coming years and train more youths in the province to become professionals and productive citizens.
De Vera lauded the SCSC administration and local stakeholders for pursuing its conversion into a full state college.
He described it as among the victories that the government and the education sector can claim in the efforts to institutionalize free education in the country.
“This is for those who made this possible, including the local universities and colleges that complied with the CHED requirements. We claim victory for them,” he said. (MindaNews)