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The venture into higher education: exploring politics of education in a Philippine local government college

In: Philippine Political Science Journal
Author:
Ronald A. Pernia Political Science Program, College of Social Sciences, University of the Philippines Cebu, Cebu City, PhilippinesE-mail: rapernia1@up.edu.ph

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This study aims to examine the experience of the local government of Sibonga, a municipality in the province of Cebu, Philippines in establishing the Sibonga Community College, a local public higher educational institution. Situating within the context of a Philippine local government and taking into account the political dynamics and existing structures of local power and authority, this study uses the systems approach of David Easton as framework of analysis as adapted by education scholars. Primarily, this study focuses on the processes and practices undertaken in the venture into higher education system by the local government. Methodologically, the study looks into the perceptions of local government officials, local line agency heads, teachers and administrators, students and graduates; and uses key informant interviews and focus group discussion. The findings suggest that the creation of the educational venture was susceptible to local political dynamics, a strong mayoral engagement and nuances of informal arrangements with a national agency on higher education. The local government, as the political system at the local level, remains a powerful site of delivering public goods and service. In addition, the venture was argued to be a form of policy innovation and good governance centered on the response to the higher education gap at the local level. As such, there needs to be improvements in local government units’ venture as provider of higher education at the local level, to match access goals with quality assurance, for an enhanced, rationalized and sustainable pursuit of higher education system in the country.

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