Students from ‘Big 4’ universities seek online class suspension from CHED
Student representatives from some of the country’s top universities sent a petition March 25 to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) calling for the suspension of online classes during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Signatories were the student government heads of the University of the Philippines – Diliman (UP), De La Salle University-Manila (DLSU), Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and the University of Santo Tomas (UST).
Concerns on internet connectivity and access to a conducive learning environment were cited in the petition to suspend online classes.
“While we understand the need for learning to continue, the different circumstances of students across universities are not ideal and conducive for such,” it said.
It also mentioned that students could be struggling “physically, mentally and/or financially” during the pandemic. “Adding more workload for the students increases their burden and contradicts the purpose of the lockdown, which is to help their families prepare and adjust to the situation at hand.”
It argued too that the home environment may not be conducive to learning and that “online classes may not be as effective as face-to-face classroom lectures.”
“We humbly request the Commission on Higher Education to exercise its administrative powers to issue a memorandum order regarding the suspension of online classes and consider our arguments and recommendations,” it said.
The petition proposed that online classes be suspended until the end of the ECQ period on April 14, and that online materials for self-learning be provided. It also suggested that universities give leniency through adjusting academic requirements and the academic calendar “upon proper consultation to all sectors involved and with utmost consideration given to graduating students.”
In a statement Tuesday, CHED chair Prospero de Vera claimed that students were “threatening to flood my Facebook Messenger accounts” with concerns.
He said, “The Commission has urged HEIs to review their online classes and adopt other alternative delivery systems in view of the enhanced community quarantine. Many of the universities identified in the complaints have suspended their online classes. Other HEIs have recalibrated their online classes to suit the needs of their students and situation.”
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