Many schools had to adjust their academic calendars and activities in the face of COVID-19. Some opted to end classes altogether while others felt like they had to continue on. This sparked some heated debates online about if taking these classes would still be necessary in an anxiety-inducing time like a global pandemic. Students were outraged, teachers felt defeated, and institutions were questioned endlessly about their decisions.
Some graduating students from different schools spoke up about what measures their schools took to adjust to the virus.
University of the Philippines, College of Law
Nothing is final yet as of this time. So I wish I knew, especially because we’re scheduled to take the bar in November. 🙁 (At the time of interview)
Update: Mostly they let each college deal with it themselves, closed the semester on April 30, to re-open the next (lol) for those who want to complete their requirements (June 16). :< My college opted to give grades of pass/drop only. No one fails. The delinquency rules (retention QPI) won’t be applied na.
Ateneo de Manila University, undergrad
I feel like giving passing grades was fair on the part on Ateneo. Not knowing the effects of the quarantine on the students, it was best thing Ateneo could’ve done keeping the well being of their students in mind. However, as a graduating student I feel like my senior year was kind of incomplete :c in terms of spending time with friends, defending my thesis or just simply walking around campus one last time as an undergraduate. Though I understand given these circumstances there’s nothing much that can be done, but there’s just a part of the experience that’s missing.
De La Salle University, undergrad
The academics council has stated that they want their term to end on ‘online mode’ on May 9, 2020. Have they ignored the cries from the students? The first among two surveys conducted by the United Student Government (USG) was allegedly ignored… While it is admirable that DLSU houses the frontliners and brings initiatives to assist those affected, they’ve essentially ignored the students. In the second USG survey to establish why suspension was needed, were three options. The first option was to resume online classes, while the two other options in the survey heavily emphasized the suspension of classes due to the worsening state of the country and pandemic, with only a difference in the actions that hoped to be undergone. A friend of mine from the USG said that, “33.6% wanted to continue on with online classes, while the remaining two options that’s directive meant for a SUSPENSION were 33.5% and 26.4% respectively. Put together still meant that those who were in favor of the suspension are actually the majority.”. If I am to presume, that would be that both these initiatives were either ignored or shut down. Furthermore, the words of the academic council in their statement today were more or less only focused on the outputs of the students. It was an announcement disguised as a big middle finger to the students who literally CANNOT do anything about their situation. The email stated:
“With the difficult circumstances that everyone had to face during these times, the Academics Council further resolved that grades for Term 2 AY2010-2020 shall continue to follow the standard numerical system. However, students who were not able to complete all requirements shall be given a deferred grade, which they can complete within one year, until the end of Term 2 AY2020-2021. Students who still fail to complete all requirements by the end of this grace period shall receive a grade of W (Withdrawn) for the course. Because of the complications brought about by the pandemic, no failing grades, including failure due to absences, shall be given for Term 2 AY 2019-2020. A grade of W (Withdrawn) shall be used in place of 0.0 for those who are unable to meet the standards for the course. This grade shall not be included in the calculations for GPA. Students will also be given the option to drop courses.”
A grade of withdrawn? So does this mean all the effort put into the rest of the term by everybody was all for nothing? Are we not getting our money back? This essentially means that if you finish the term with a W, you are required to take a class again. You pay for something that you could’ve completed but couldn’t due to the pandemic. It doesn’t matter that there are no failing grades this term. What matters is that there was a failure to account for those who do not have the means to access online class. It reeks of privilege. It is discriminatory to those who do not have the means or mental stability to learn. Ironically, St. John Baptist de La Salle gave classes to those who weren’t rich and couldn’t afford it. He believed that education should not be locked behind bars of capitalism and privilege. That’s what the school is doing right now. I’d much prefer delayed face-to-face classes as compared to the instability and reduced learning potential of online classes.
University of Santo Tomas, grad school
I’m very disappointed with UST’s decision to push through with online classes. I love school, I love my profs and lessons, I love my MA program, but I can’t concentrate because of so many worries and worsening mental health problems. Not to mention that there are other students who can’t afford stable internet access. It’s very insensitive and I know I’m not the only one in school who thinks this way.
Polytechnic University of the Philippines
Our sem in the univ is technically ended (we use the old acad calendar) based on the memo relayed to our profs but two profs in our majors still require us to pass some projects until april 20 & 30 🙁 quarantine life kinda added some anxiety, idk if I can still pass our projs on-time 🙁
What do you think about what your university did? Let us know!