CHEd seeks dialog on academic freedom

The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) will convene a panel to discuss academic freedom and how law enforcers can protect it, according to the agency.

This was after the Philippine military unilaterally ended a deal with the University of the Philippines (UP) banning soldiers inside the state institution.

“The implementation of the Department of National Defense-UP accord was destined to be problematic,” CHEd Chairman J. Prospero E. de Vera III said in a statement on Thursday night. “The accord has no clear detailed operational details to implement the provisions of the agreement.”

The military in a Jan. 15 letter to UP President Danilo Concepcion ended the ban on soldiers and policemen inside UP premises without a notification.

Mr. de Vera said he would start a panel of education experts to define the meaning of academic freedom and the role of security forces in student welfare.

“This definition and framework can hopefully be the starting point of a dialogue between the DND and UP in the coming days,” he said.

“CHEd is offering its offices to bring together not just UP and DND but all public and private higher educational institutions so we can find a common ground to protect the interest of our 3.1 million students while upholding academic freedom,” he added. — Charmaine A. Tadalan

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