UP Diliman student gov’t wants sked shift deferred
The student government body of the University of the Philippines in Diliman is urging UP officials to postpone the shift in the academic calendar, which will move the opening of classes in the premier state university to August.
In a position paper, the University Student Council said it “would like to assert that the shifting of the academic calendar must be deferred (and) push for a more consultative and informative decision-making procedure.”
“While we agree with the merits of the academic calendar shift, we should not forget the real problems of the university. A shift in the calendar alone does not guarantee quality education for all students. It entails a continuous call for a higher budget for the education sector to ensure quality and access,” it said.
The 15-page paper was released after a campus-wide consultation, where 1,834 out of 2,728 students surveyed said they approved of the change in the calendar.
The paper will be forwarded to the University Council, which will meet this week to decide on the matter.
Of the 1,834 who approved of the shift, 1,186 said they wanted it implemented the next school year, while 648 said they wanted it deferred.
In February, the Board of Regents approved, on a pilot basis, the implementation of the shift in seven UP campuses, excluding Diliman which had not yet finished its consultations at that time.
The student council pointed out that important issues were raised in the comments section of the survey forms and that these issues need proper attention before implementing the changes.
They include the effect of the calendar shift on internships, particularly for students who need to take a practicum in other education institutions that still follow the traditional academic calendar.
Also raised were conflicts in the schedules relating to the board and bar exams, and the feasibility of holding classes during the summer, the council added.
“We demand a detailed plan from the administration on how to ensure a comfortable academic environment for the students (during the summer),” it said.
A recent faculty referendum showed that 647 of the 954 regular faculty members are in favor of the shift, with 499 agreeing to its implementation this year.
Meanwhile, 281 out of 293 instructors voted for the proposed calendar. Of the 281 instructors, 215 voted for the shift to be implemented this year, while 67 preferred to have it next year.
The Diliman administration will let the university council—made up of more than 1,000 regular faculty members with the rank of assistant professor and higher—to decide on the shift.
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