All for the 100%

Art by Anjali Piya

Contrary to what all accounting books say, a school is not a service entity; it is a manufacturing company.

It manufactures graduates who are said to be prepared for the corporate world. Even when they insist that their main objective is to provide quality education to students who are supposed to be their primary customer, as students, we feel more like a work in process inventory, awaiting to be transferred out to the next department until we become worthy to be called a finished product.

De La Salle Lipa, regardless of how Catholic it may seem and how they say that it is a non-stock, nonprofit organization, is likewise guilty of such practices.

In the Accountancy program, for example, we are briefed since the first day of class that the aim is to get that 100% passing rate. As it seems, they strongly believe that in order to achieve that, they have to implement cut-offs determined through a qualifying exam, zero-based grading system and a retention policy.

After our first year, almost 60 dreams were crushed when results of the qualifying exams were announced. They were told that they will not be CPAs by 2019 even before they had the chance to take the exam.

“They were told that they will not be CPAs by 2019 even before they had the chance to take the exam.”

We are also required to maintain a grade of 80 or higher, or else, we cannot enroll in the same program in the next semester. With this policy, almost half of the remaining batch shifted to other programs on the second year.

Our professors have continuously justified that this was implemented to assure the quality of the BSA program. If such is the case, what makes BSA so special that these policies are only implemented on us? We are not the only program with a licensure exam.

However, truth is since its implementation, the school’s passing rate in the CPA Board Exams have only plummeted to disappointing percentages – 61.54% in October 2015, 57.26% in 2016 and 49.32% in 2017. And as it continues to regress, professors are becoming more desperate.

Some even go to the extent of saying that they would be willing to fail almost half of the class to ensure that only those who would surely pass the exams will be able to graduate from the program. If this was a way of motivating us to do better, so far, it has failed at even that.

Perhaps, their definition of quality meant a 100% passing rate that will be proudly posted in DLSL’s Wall of Excellence. To them, it is as if quality meant that all of their 25 graduates will become CPAs as opposed to having 100 graduates, of which 50 could become CPAs.

This perfect percentage is nothing but a show to attract more enrollees. These procedures only hide their lapses through veils of recognition attained through supposed strategies.

They lure young teenagers into believing that because they got a 100% passing rate in the previous board exams, they are also meant to succeed if they decide to enroll in their college. What they do not admit is that they achieved such a percentage by weeding out those who cannot cope up with the mental, emotional and physical drain of the educational system.

“What they do not admit is that they achieved such a percentage by weeding out those who cannot cope up with the mental, emotional and physical drain of the educational system.”

Schools should stop shoving into students that if they do not process and retain information as fast as how the system requires, they are considered defects and are not presented to the public.

Instead, they should begin by developing actual strategies to improve the quality of education they provide. Teachers and students should work symbiotically in order to develop an environment that motivates them to be their best selves, and not simply as added fragrances to the good name of the school. After all, ultimately, we did not enroll in the Accountancy program to contribute to that 100% passing rate. We chose DLSL because we believed that this institution will help us prepare to become CPAs. Much to our disappointment, we realize today that if they think we are not cut out to become one, they will drop us off the program as if we meant nothing to them.

Our batch will be graduating in a year, and though we dream of the same 100% passing rate in the CPA board exams, we are motivated differently from the administration. We wish to pass the board exams not for the school’s prestige but for our families who struggled with us. In the end, we hope to call ourselves a satisfied customer and a proud graduate of DLSL, as opposed to being a proud product of the Lasallian education.

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