#EndtheSem calls continue despite UP Board of Regents’ decision to end semester on April 30

April 17, 2020 - 2:18 PM
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UP Oblation
The University of the Philippines Oblation (Philstar/File photo)

The students of the University of the Philippines continued their call to end the current semester amid the COVID-19 enhanced community quarantine despite the university administration’s recent decision to suspend it by month-end.

After meeting with the UP Board of Regents, the UP administration on Thursday upheld the proposal submitted by the UP President’s Advisory Council to end the second semester of academic year 2019-2020 on April 30.  

All UP students were also given conditions before they can be promoted to a higher level: 

  1. Complete their course requirements until May 31, 2021 and receive a numeric grade under a 
    deferred grade” scheme. 
  2. Complete their requirements during thenhanced community quarantine based on adjusted syllabus and deadlines and receive a corresponding grade for their performance.  

The academic performances of post-graduate students, meanwhile, would be determined by their respective departments, units and institutions.    

The end UP’s second semester also coincide with the end date of the enhanced community quarantine, April 30, set by the national government. This umbrella measure that began last month halted onsite classes and work.

UP Diliman’s second semester was initially scheduled to end on May 30 while the end of the academic year or summer classes was set July 15, based on its academic calendar for the academic year 2019 to 2020. 

The UP Office of the Student Regent expressed disappointment over the UP BOR’s decision for its supposed failure to listen to the needs of their constituents.  

Together with the students, we see it as a travesty that the Board of Regents, as the highest decision-making body of UP, failed to actively listen and to show complete compassion to its own constituents and our resounding clamor to adopt the most humane and fair actions to protect the university amid the pandemic,” the post read.  

Statement on the Decision of the UP Board of Regents for this Semester Together with the students, we see it as a…

Posted by UP Office of the Student Regent on Thursday, April 16, 2020

The student regent, however, thanked UP professors who went ahead and canceled their students’ academic work as an act of compassion to their students despite the BOR’s decision.  

Several faculty members of UP previously gave their students passing marks.

These UP teachers said the suspension of the semester will allow the students and the faculty members to focus on their overall health and survival during the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

The UP student regent appealed to other instructors and administrators in all UP campuses to do the same 

“Therefore, we appeal to our instructors, professors, and local administrators in our respective campuses to heed the call of our students and move forward in such a way that no one will be subjected to further anxieties and hardships,” it added.  

The alliance of UP employees likewise disagreed on the “deferred” grading system instead of heeding the need for mass promotion.  

We therefore appeal to all our colleagues in the academe to invoke academic freedom and stand for the health and well-being of all students, staff and faculty amid the pandemicLet solidarity and compassion guide our actions as we conclude the semester and press on our collective fight against COVID-19,” the organization “All UP Academic Employees Union said. 

Statement of the All U.P. Academic Employees Union on the April 16 BOR meeting EDUCATION WITH COMPASSION: PASS ALL!…

Posted by All U.P. Academic Employees Union on Thursday, April 16, 2020

Similar calls to end sem

Student groups from the University of Santo Tomas and the Far Eastern University recently joined in the large-scale clamor for schools to suspend their online class programs, citing that such activities are no longer conducive during quarantine.  

Students from both private institutions crafted a demand outline through Change.org, which include the provision of the salaries of the teaching and non-teaching staff.  

The demands also concurred with the online appeal of the National Union of Students of the Philippines last March 

5 STUDENT DEMANDS"Student Councils, as the premiere youth formation in colleges and universities, stand in solidarity…

Posted by National Union of Students of the Philippines on Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The hashtags #EndtheSem, #MassPromotionNow and #NotoOnlineClasses landed on the recent top trending topics on Twitter Philippines following these calls.

As of press time, only the Ateneo de Manila University issued a decision to grant its student body passing marks and promote them to the next school year.

The ADMU was earlier praised for this move along with its decision to refund them from their tuition and other fees.

On Friday, the De La Salle University also announced rebates in tuition fees for its several campuses—seven percent rebate on term 2 tuition fees for the Manila campus and ten percent for the Laguna campus.

The Commission on Higher Education last April 14 recommended the suspension of all classes and school activities, including internships, in all levels in Luzon until April 30.  

“Classes in all levels and school activities including on-the-job training (OJT) and internships for the entire Luzon region will continue to be suspended until 30 April 2020,” the advisory read.

CHED Chairperson Prospero de Vera III, however, said the decision to promote students to higher levels “are within the powers of individual universities exercised through their board of trustees or board of regents.”