CDO school to introduce flexible learning arrangement amid COVID-19
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – A Catholic school here will open the coming school year with a flexible learning arrangement that will allow students to continue their studies amid the raging coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Fr. Roberto Yap, president of the Jesuit-run Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan (XU), said the flexible learning arrangement would consist of two components designed for the university and the students to cope with the ongoing public health crisis.
The first component includes the home-based learning program made up of portable learning packets (hard and soft copies), online learning and online student support; while the second includes the cautious return to on-campus learning which will strictly enforce physical distancing, a limited number of students in a classroom, safety and sanitary precautions and limited gatherings, Yap said in a May 7 memorandum to the XU community.
“We plan to begin SY 2020-2021 in July following the home-based learning and then shift to cautious return to on-campus leaning when the government will allow the return of physical classes on campus,” he said.
He said courses that could not be delivered by home-based learning according to XU standards would have to be postponed to a later time.
He also added the flexible learning arrangements would ensure that the school curriculum could meet the minimum standards of the Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Education (DepEd).
Except for the university’s graduate, law, and medical schools, XU would open its grade school, junior and senior high school, and college campuses in July.
It will follow a quarterly schedule for its undergraduate courses, with a college semester composed of two quarters.
The two quarters that will make up the first semester will run from July to mid-September and from mid-September to November. The two-quarters of the second semester will run from December to February and from March to the middle of May.
For the graduate school and professional schools of law and medicine, the school year will start in August and will end in May the following year.
“Although the tuition fee increase has already been approved, there will be no tuition increase for SY 2020-2021 and some miscellaneous fees will be reduced in view of flexible learning,” Yap said.
“We will also work hard to increase our scholarship and financial aid programs. These measures are taken to help parents cope with the present crisis. Each school will release an updated assessment of tuition and fees, modes of payments, and payment installment options before enrollment.”
From May to June this year and in the course of the school year, XU’s teaching faculty will be undergoing systematic and intensive training so they can facilitate quality flexible learning, especially home-based learning for the upcoming classes, Yap said.
“XU is also strengthening IT support and improving access to the internet for faculty and students. Those who have insufficient access to the internet will be provided hard copies of the portable learning packets,” he said.
“We realize that for basic education students, especially for our grade-schoolers, successful home-based learning requires the active engagement of parents and guardians,” Yap said. “We are counting on you to work with us so that your children’s learning doesn’t stop due to the pandemic,” he added, addressing parents.
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