- February 01, 2023 14:04
By Trisha Angelika C. Ignacio and Dianne Romero
Despite growing student concerns, Academic Affairs Office (AAO) released guidelines on alternative learning for second semester of academic year (AY) 2019-2020 ending “as scheduled” on May 27 amid coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
In an online statement, University President Dr. Michael M. Alba addressed growing concerns over the continuance of the semester during the pandemic.
“Far Eastern University believes that it is important in this trying period to maintain an evenness in disposition that balances health, safety, and well-being concerns with persevering in our educational mission,” he stated.
In accordance, AAO issued guidelines on the alternative learning for the second semester which will persist until May 27 for both Manila and Makati campuses. The general guidelines are as follows:
The office also provided academic calendars adhering to two possible situations: upon resumption of classes on May 4 and extension of quarantine until the end of May. The calendar included enrollment schedule and session for the summer term.
Detailed guidelines on academic concerns will be provided by respective offices and departments.
Students appeal on “new normal”, urge compassion
In his statement, the University President furthered that a “new normal” education will soon be adapted which needed certain competencies to combat the “distractions” at hand.
“Gen Z-ers will be living in a 21st century world of disruptive change. To thrive, people will have to learn to be flexible and resilient and to develop deep stores of emotional balance,” he mentioned.
However, with the quarantine extension until April 30, students raised concerns on second semester academic operations.
FEU Central Student Organization (FEUCSO), together with the six Institute Student Councils and FEU Makati Student Council, sent a joint letter to FEU Administration containing concerns and recommendation plans for the semester last April 15.
"In these trying times, it does not hurt to be compassionate once again. If anything, the FEU should take this opportunity to walk the path less travelled and give everyone their due. Only then, no one will be left behind," the letter stated.
The letter contained the following suggestions: end the semester and mass promotion, cancellation of all pending and upcoming tasks, submission of requirements shall be one month after ECQ, provision of free bridging programs during semestral break or start of the preceding term, removal of numerical grading system, tuition refunds, providing transition period for the well-being of the students and psychosocial consultations.
Prior, FEUCSO sent a letter to Dr. Alba containing the above recommendations and results from the conducted survey last April 9.
Further, National Democratic Mass Organizations such as Anakbayan – Morayta, League of Filipino Students – Morayta, and Kabataan Partylist – Morayta showed support in ending the semester and promoting students to the next year level.
Through an ongoing online petition, its appeal to the FEU Administration contains four demands: ending the semester and mass promotion, tuition refund, assurance of salary and benefits of faculty members and staff, and strengthening students’ representation.
It stated in an online post, “Dahil dito, mariin kaming nananawagan sa pamahalaan ng Far Eastern University na tapusin na ang semestre. Naniniwala ang aming organisasyon na sa kasalukuyang estado ng ating lipunan, walang sinuman ang dapat na maiwan. (Because of this, we are calling the administration of Far Eastern University to end the semester. Our organization believes that in the current situation of our society, no one should be left behind.)”
As of writing, there are 4, 668 supporters who signed the said petition.
The Department of Health (DOH) reported a total of 5,878 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country with 487 recoveries and 387 deaths, as of 4:00 PM today, April 17.