City schools asked to halt holding of online classes
Students from big universities in Baguio City are opposing the conduct of online classes as a continuing mode of learning due to the extended enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.
Saint Louis University and University of Baguio earlier came out with their respective advisories on the academic guidelines for the remainder of the second semester of 2019-2020, which was met with resistance by students, especially on the conduct of online classes.
Student groups from SLU called for the administration to reconsider its advisory, urging them to take into account the plight of its students.
In an online signature campaign, the Partido Reporma ng mga Mag-aaral ng San Luis-Alliance of Concerned Students (Reporma-ACS) called on the school administration for the full suspension of online classes “to assure that all students have equal opportunities to receive quality education.” Also, they called for the immediate culmination of the semester, as well as the refund of fees and the waiving of unpaid dues for the semester.
The petition, which sparked the #NoLouisianLeftBehind and #WalangIwananLouisian movement and backed by various youth groups in the university, now has 6,489 signatures in change.org as of this writing.
As a follow-up, the Kasama/Supreme Student Council-Executive Committee of SLU also started a survey on online classes that would help them create a position paper on the matter.
“This will then be submitted to the SLU administration for consideration in the resumption of online classes,” the group stated.
Meanwhile, the UB Supreme Student Council conducted an online survey from April 13 to 15 from 4,745 respondents regarding online classes.
The UB-SSC reported that 95.2 percent of the respondents have smartphones while 23.3 percent have computers or laptops and 3.9 percent have tablets, which they use in online learning.
When it comes to a stable Internet connection, 80.6 percent answered “no” while only 19.4 percent said “yes” and most of the respondents, at 68.8 percent, use mobile data while 31.2 percent have access to WiFi for their online classes.
The Supreme Student Council convened on April 15 through an online conference.
“The SSC has taken a stance against the resumption of online classes and has taken the necessary steps to raise the concern to the UB Administration,” the UB SSC stated.
The student council urged the students to be patient until the UB administration has read and considered the concerns raised.
In Memorandum C issued by UB on April 7, its Academic Council unanimously agreed to end the academic year on May 30.
The teachers were also encouraged to adopt alternative teaching modes including online platforms, modules, and independent study or take-home activities.
For SLU, students are given until May 20 to fulfill their online requirements in supplemental advisory 2 of the university.
Departmental exams would be suspended except for the School of Law, which will have its final exams on June 3 to 10.
It also has a modified grading system where the final grade will be comprised of the prelim grade and the tentative final grade with corresponding weights, which are to be determined by the department heads and deans of the different schools.
As for on-the-job training, thesis, and laboratory classes, the school encouraged department heads to review the requirements for these activities that are “doable and reasonable,” which could be “reasonably accomplished” by the students during the remainder of the semester.
“Other school matters including tuition and other fees arising from this advisory shall be appropriately and reasonably addressed as soon as office operations resume and plans are finalized,” the advisory stated.
Both schools have instructed their teachers to be lenient when giving requirements, taking into consideration the situation of their students at these times.
Meanwhile, University of the Cordilleras announced on March 20 that all online delivery of classes and activities are suspended from March 19 to April 27. No additional advisories were given to students and faculty members as of this writing. – Ofelia C. Empian