Petition for a Gradeless Semester

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The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in closure of many non-essential businesses and entertainment venues in Singapore.

Many schools across the world have adopted an E-Learning system and many others have also made clear that their modules and/or semester have been made a grade-less one. It is to be noted that Yale-NUS, the liberal arts college established as a collaboration between NUS and Yale Univeristy, has already given their students the option of making this semester gradeless.

NUS prides itself as one of the top universities in the world, with a good portion of international students matriculating every year.

During times of such uncertainty, these international students are left worrying about the health and safety of their loved ones. Studies - assignments, projects, tests are the least of their worry. This is especially so for international students whose hometown are the worst hit in the COVID-19 crisis now. Grading this semester does not do them justice if they are unable to give their fullest during this challenging time.

So far, NUS has followed government guidelines and has taken a stance to implement social distancing within her compound, however, this is ineffective and can be seen across campus.

As long as grades are concerned, students who are not as affected by the outbreak will still actively participate in projects and discussions. It is after all, human nature, that students will be motivated or concerned for their grades and will seek ways to meet up to facilitate clearer discussions. All efforts that NUS have placed to ensure social distancing would go in vain if such scenarios were to continue.

Furthermore, this scenario creates a disparity in grades, one group would certainly outperform another, which creates systematic unfairness and unjustness in these trying times.

As NUS prides itself as a top provider of tertiary education, It is our hope that NUS is able to make an executive decision that gives students an option to make this semester gradeless, thereby assisting students in their intellectual pursuit without the worry and anxiety during such times.