UST thumbs down CSC petition for two-day shift to online classes, academic ease

Art by Anjellyca Villamayor/THE FLAME

THE UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas has rejected the Central Student Council’s (CSC) petition to shift to virtual learning and to implement an academic ease from Oct. 16 to 17 due to the tighter academic calendar caused by previous class suspensions.

A CSC statement released on Friday, Oct. 13, quoted the Office of the Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs (OVRAA) and the Office of the Secretary-General (OSG) as saying that several onsite classes and assessments have already been disrupted due to national holidays, inclement weather and reports of poor air quality.

In its petition, the UST central student body also requested asynchronous learning and a halt to deadlines and graded assessments during the two-day period.

But the OSG and OVRAA said the online mode of instruction are only used for contingencies.

“[T]he decision to conduct online classes synchronously or asynchronously should be constructively aligned with the intended learning outcomes, as there are outcomes that are best achieved onsite,” they said.

The offices also noted that the two-week period before the Undas or All Saints’ Day break would be allotted for high-stake assessments, adding that postponing the activities poses drawbacks to students.

However, the University will shift to online mode of learning and remote work setup on Oct. 16 due to the anticipated nationwide strike. Classes can be administered synchronously or asynchronously, according to the OVRAA.

The CSC advised students with academic concerns to inform their class advisers and program chairs if they have concerns about their work load.

“[C]ollective concerns at the program or unit levels can be raised to the respective academic units and concurrently to the [local student councils] as well,” it added. F

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