House panel OK’s bill on special program for workers to earn a tertiary-level diploma 

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A HOUSE committee approved on Monday a bill that will provide an opportunity for workers who dropped out of school to earn a bachelor’s degree through an alternative schooling program.   

The House committee on higher and technical education approved a measure seeking to institutionalize the Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP). 

The ETEEAP will be an alternative education program that will allow professionals who have not graduated from college but have already been working for at least five years to earn school credits necessary to complete a bachelor’s degree.  

“We need to provide avenues for the acquisition of knowledge and skills at different life stages that will meet the different needs and circumstances of every learner,” Tingog Party-list Rep. Jude A. Acidre, one of the authors of the bill, told the committee.  

Mr. Acidre added that “an individual may be granted a diploma or a degree after a competency-based evaluation from established assessment systems” in the form of “written tests, interviews, skills demonstration, portfolio and other creative assessment methodologies administered by designated assessors or faculty experts.”  

Meanwhile, a lawmaker filed a bill that aims to hand out cash assistance to fresh graduates looking for a job. 

Deputy Speaker Camille A. Villar-Genuino filed House Bill No. 6542 to “help fresh graduates by giving them a one-time cash grant in the amount of P5,000 which they can use as productivity/earnest fund (for their) application for employment, transportation and settling-in amount, if they get a job soonest,” she said.  

Ms. Villar said first time job seekers need funds for transportation, work wear, printing of biodata or curriculum vitae, and other expenses.  

To avail the cash grant, a fresh graduate must submit a copy of diploma or school certification.  

Congress, with the help of the Commission on Higher Education, will determine the amount needed to fund the program.  

The bill is pending at the House committee on higher and technical education. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz