MSU to make academic policy adjustments after bombing

MSU to make academic policy adjustments after bombing

/ 05:02 AM December 14, 2023

MSU to make academic policy adjustments after bombing

PRAYER OF REMEMBRANCE | A tarpaulin bearing the images of the four persons who died in the Dec. 3 bombing inside the gymnasium of Mindanao State University is mounted outside the gym to honor their memory, as classes resume in the university on Dec. 10, 2023. (Photo by RICHEL V. UMEL / Inquirer Mindanao)

MANILA, Philippines — The governing body of Mindanao State University (MSU) has ordered some policy adjustments to allow students affected by the Dec. 3 bombing on campus to keep pace with their academic requirements while coping with the tragedy, the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) said.

“Students who are distressed and traumatized, [e]specially those who underwent counseling and who feel they cannot continue their studies, will be given a nonnumerical grade and another semester to complete their requirements,” CHEd Chair Prospero de Vera III said in a statement on Tuesday.


De Vera, who is also chair of the MSU Board of Regents, underscored the “need to address the mental health situation of the students” following the explosion that ripped through MSU’s Mohammad Ali B. Dimaporo Gymnasium during a Sunday Mass, killing four and wounding more than 50.


The affected students will receive a grade of “INC” (incomplete) and they will be given a semester to complete their academic requirements.

Classes have resumed in the Marawi campus amid the strong objection of many students who held a protest action on Monday day to air their sentiments. They clamored for, among others, sustained measures to ensure the safety and security of everyone on campus.

Immediately after the Dec. 3 attack, which was claimed to have been pulled off by local affiliates of the Islamic State, over 1,000 of MSU’s 14,000 students in Marawi left the campus as their parents worried for their safety. Only about 300 had so far returned for their classes.

MSU President Basari Mapupuno earlier assured students of their safety, saying an additional battalion of policemen and a company of soldiers were deployed to the campus.

Exams reset

Since Sunday, teams with K9 dogs in tow have been regularly conducting security checks throughout the campus, including in offices and classrooms.

MSU has also made psychosocial stress debriefing services available to all students and faculty.


On Tuesday, Mapupuno issued a memorandum adjusting the academic calendar of MSU’s Marawi campus, mainly doing away with the final examinations originally scheduled this month. The final exams were moved to early January, and as such, the deadline for the submission of grades was also moved to mid-January.

The changes, according to Mapupuno, is “to afford both students and faculty members ample time to manage their academic responsibilities.”

Mapupuno said the university would also relax the rules for scholarships as he instructed the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academics Affairs to send a letter of request for consideration to scholarship-granting institutions to make sure that their status as scholars would not be affected.

CHEd, for its part, said it would provide additional financial assistance to students affected by the blast by including them in the commission’s “Tulong Dunong” beneficiaries for the school year 2023-2024.

CHEd further called on the constituents of MSU and other higher education institutions to improve the security of their campuses and coordinate with government security agencies.

“We will not be deterred by this act of violence, we will continue to work toward ensuring that our [higher educational institutions] remain a safe haven for our students,” De Vera said.

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Mapupuno added that the MSU “will not lower our guards in protecting our students.”

TAGS: Marawi bombing, Mindanao State University, MSU bombing

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