ON GRADUATING FROM TOP UNIVERSITIES
Upon completion of their basic education, the next step for young Filipinos is to choose a tertiary institution where they will spend the next four years or so to pursue the undergraduate degree they dream of completing. Given the chance, they would choose to enroll in one of the top 10, if not top 5, colleges or universities. Making it to the premiere universities and colleges is the dream of majority of those graduating from high school (and their respective parents and guardians).
Parents, no matter how expensive, would try their best to send their children to the tertiary institutions who are tops in the ranking. Even for basic education they enroll their kids to the most reputable schools. They inculcate in the young minds of their children the need to strive harder than the others so they would graduate in high school at the top of their class and have GWAs acceptable to the universities they are targeting. And their children follow them like good soldiers heeding the marching orders of their generals.
The foregoing is a manifestation of how society have embraced the idea that when students graduate from highly-ranked universities their success is guaranteed and their future bright. What could have permeated that notion are classified ads trumpeting that only graduates of “this and that” university may apply for certain job openings. Such hiring policy is not giving priority to alumni of top-notch universities, it is giving only them the chance to fill up positions and vacancies in companies and organizations.
We don’t fault business entities who implement the policy aforementioned. It is their right to do so. If they want to hire only those who could present diplomas and transcript of records minted in their “preferred colleges and universities” there’s nothing that anybody can do.
But there are rights that supersede other rights. The right of graduates of all colleges and universities to equal employment opportunities is guaranteed by the constitution. So, the policy of not allowing graduates of tertiary institutions not belonging to the “preferred list” to apply is not just discriminatory, it’s also unconstitutional.
But why are graduates of low-ranking colleges and universities seemingly being looked down upon?
Are graduates of “whatever university” mere mortals and those who received their diplomas from “beholden university” gods and goddesses? Would the latter become better persons and professionals after completing their training from their highly-ranked alma mater? Are the former just second best and meant to play second fiddle to the latter?
A writer once remarked. “How good are the graduates of the country’s best colleges and universities? Well, these graduates have been the leaders in most industries in the country and majority of them occupy the judicial, legislative and executive branches of the government since time immemorial. Now answer me! How have our country been performing economically and politically for the past decades? Your answer bespeaks of the kind of graduates these tertiary institutions produce.”
To say that graduates of top-ranked universities are better than those who received their diplomas from lesser-known schools is committing the fallacy of hasty generalization. Nobody can say who’s better between the two groups. Graduating from a highly-ranked university doesn’t make one a better person than those who sweat it out in lesser-known schools.
“Education,” as Horace Mann puts it, “is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, the balance-wheel of the social machinery.”
Graduates of the best colleges and universities already have the best things in life. That’s the reason they could afford to pay exorbitant tuition fees and the high cost of board and lodging in cities. The ones studying in lower-ranked schools, especially those located in provinces, belong to indigent families pinning their hopes for a better life through education.
Those who have less in life need to be given a chance, at least an equal opportunity for employment.
At the vantage point of an employer, applicants for a job need to be evaluated using objective measures. The decision to hire should not be based on from what college or university they graduated.
This is not asking that graduates of lesser-known schools be given priority. Let the applicants, wherever they graduated, undergo the hiring process.
They must be asked to submit their resume and the corresponding documents and attachment. These papers, in one way or another, will reveal things about the applicants that will inform decisions to hire or not.
The next steps would involve interview (or a series of interviews) and battery of tests. These parts of the hiring process will gradually show who’s who among the applicants.
What could be considered as the best part of the process is the demonstration of skills. The applicants need to actually show their repertoire of skills related to the job they are applying for.
The decision to hire must be based objectively on the over-all results. The alma mater of the applicants should never be factored. This way, the applicants are given equal employment opportunity.
Companies and organizations limiting their choices to graduates of top universities are also limiting their chances of possibly getting the best applicants. One thing certain, there are brilliant young people sharpening their minds and honing their skills in lesser-known colleges and universities, especially in the provinces.
They are diamonds in the rough waiting to be mined.