President-elect Rodrigo Duterte last week announced the appointment of Dr. Jose David Lapuz as the next chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), succeeding Dr. Patricia Licuanan. Duterte used to be Lapuz’ student when he was a student of the Lyceum of the Philippines University during the 1960s.
However, instead of cheering Lapuz’ appointment, a number of his former students in the schools where he taught over the years denounced Duterte’s decision. On his Facebook page, film and music producer Chris Cahilig wrote that Filipino students “deserve better” than being led by someone like Lapuz.
Cahilig recalled that Lapuz was his professor for a course on Jose Rizal when he was still studying at the University of Santo Tomas. His criticisms of Lapuz centered on three claims:
1) Instead of asking his students to submit meaningful outputs for the class, he merely asked them to submit clippings of newspaper articles that he wrote.
2) In cases when he asked his students to submit essays, he merely graded the papers without reading them: “Walang checking ng sagot na nagaganap so ang iba will write prayers, poems, lyrics, love letters, or even bad words and never ka nya masisita.”
3) During classes, he is far more likely to talk about his life, works, and achievements instead of talking about Rizal’s life, works, and achievements.
Cahilig’s former classmates as well as other Facebook users corroborated his story. Here’s what others wrote:
Rowie Ciann Lee – I remembered the clippings and most importantly he had asked me to submit a portrait of rizal as my finals exam…well got 1.0 for that
Denise J. Mallabo – Wala akong natutunan sa kanya. Period.
Philip Landagan – Eto yung prof na i-require ka na makinig sa radio program nya. Sa AM station na malabo signal at puro static. Dis-oras ng gabi.
Amir Renan – Naging Prof ko sa Rizal Subject ko si Prof Lapuz, He Loves Himself so much! Kaya lng paulit ulit ang kwento ng mga achievements nya at kung saan saang bansa na sya nakapunta
Apart from his supposed ineffectiveness as a teacher, other Facebook users pointed out that the job may be too much for him to handle already given that he’s already in his 80s. According to the CHED website, the Chair has the following duties and responsibilities:
- – Serves as the source of overall direction and guidance to the Commission;
- – Formulates policies, standards, plans and programs for the development and reform of Philippine higher education in a globalized context;
- – Formulates policies and guidelines on the generation and allocation of funds for higher education, and recommends to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) the budget of public institutions of higher learning;
- – Deliberates on and resolves critical issues affecting higher education;
- – Chairs the Governing Boards of SUCs and through this role ensures that CHED’s reform initiatives take root in the SUCs; and
- Represents CHED in meetings with the legislative and executive branches of government.