UP Diliman faculty want to end semester ‘immediately’

Faculty members of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman urged the school’s administration to “immediately” end the semester due to the challenges brought by the effects of typhoons that badly damaged the Luzon and Bicol region.

At least 134 faculty members said Sunday that the recent storms worsened the UP students’ and teachers’ difficulties with the distance learning implementation amid the pandemic.

“The struggles of the learners are further intensified by the recent calamities, leaving students and faculty from Bicol, Cagayan, Isabela, Marikina, and Rizal, among others, with an indefinite and debilitating loss of and internet connection, destruction of properties and homes, and loss of loved ones,” the faculty members said.

“With only three weeks left to finish the semester, discounting the time needed to recover by those affected by the recent typhoons, the pressure to finish the remaining days of the semester has exacerbated to the point of inhumanity,” the group added.

The group has called for the UP system to implement the following:

“1. Implement a “Pass or DRP” system in replacement of the numerical grade system.

UP Diliman faculty want to end semester ‘immediately’

2. Students enrolled for the 1st Semester AY 2020-21 are to receive a grade of “P” or “Pass” by default. Exceptions to this are:

a. Students who have been unable to submit sufficient requirements or attend any synchronous classes must coordinate with their instructors on or before the deadline of grade submission for 1st Semester AY 2020-21. Otherwise, they will be given a grade of DRP.
b. Students requesting for numerical grades if it is required by their scholarships, shifting rules, etc. For these cases, optional requirements may be given upon the discretion of their instructors for better assessment.

3. Students affected by typhoons are to be given more consideration, and a deferred grade may be given if the wishes to get a numerical grade to finish optional requirements.

4. Exclude the grades from the 1st Semester AY 2020-21 in the computation of the General Weighted Average (GWA).”

Before opening this school year, the UP Office of the Student Regent asked the administration to postpone classes, arguing that some students were unprepared for distance learning.