We are more than numbers! End the Semester and Mass Promotion Now!
This petition had 7,759 supporters
Last July 21, it was reported that more than 5,600 UP students would not be able to afford the kind of learning demanded by the New Normal. Despite the said numbers being put to light coupled with the back-to-back campaigns of the UP Community to postpone the start of the classes, the UP admin hastily pushed through with the opening of classes last September 10. Remote learning only intensified the existing preconditions, such as mental health issues and financial problems caused by dealing with the pandemic alone. These conditions only continued to escalate as natural calamities occurred.
Due to the onslaught of consecutive typhoons, more members of the UP community suffer from further inaccessibility to resources such as internet connectivity and learning devices, with some students being gravely affected by the disaster. Amidst all of these, students are still obligated to worry about their academic deadlines instead of focusing solely on recovering from the repercussions that the recent calamities have caused, which were amplified due to the government’s negligence. These cases are not isolated ones, and these numbers are not just statistics. These statistics represent families and students continuously suffering under a hastily implemented remote mode of learning. It is the community desperately trying to help each other because none in the administration chooses to do so.
The whole community, especially those directly affected by national calamities and state negligence, cannot continue with this inhumane form of learning. We cannot sit idly while many families and students do not have basic shelter to begin with, much less access to the remote mode of learning.
We, the signatories and members of the UP community, call on the administration to END THE SEMESTER and MASS PROMOTE NOW.
To end the semester and implement a mass promotion now is to ensure fairness without surrendering quality. These calls protect our right to education through a humane response to the natural calamities and crisis that every member of the community is facing. Listed below are what mass promotion entails:
1. Provide a grade of “P” or pass for all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the 1st semester SY 2020-2021 in their enrolled units
- No numerical grade can adequately reflect and evaluate the performance of students given that the remote learning has been brutal and some students simply do not have the option to continue;
- Allowing Fail (5.0), and deferred grades in the situation where the semester is terminated, would be an injustice and disservice to students who do not have the resources to cope with the exhausting academic load even after the set semester;
- Pursuing the continuation of the semester or settling with prolonged postponement would be inhumane and unfair to many students who do not have the mental and financial capacity to pursue online learning as well the extension of the semester;
- Students must be able to obtain a numerical grade for their subject;
- For graduating students, special consideration should be given in adjusting the parameters of their terminal requirement(s), including its submission and evaluation.
2. Providing various accessible alternative learning channels to compensate discontinued formal learning, without bearing to the academic standing to all, including those affected by the recent typhoons, which can include but is not limited to uploading learning resources at their perusal whenever they can.
3. Making the necessary corresponding curriculum, syllabus, and academic calendar adjustments for the succeeding semesters to ensure that quality/ adequate education will be given to students while ensuring inclusivity and compassion.
4. Uphold honor and excellence beyond the classroom! Devote the university resources and efforts with the discontinuation of the semester to the fight against the pandemic and in the service of the Filipino people.
The primary objective of education should go beyond students submitting outputs and juggling requirements that have been piled up from left to right. There is a certain kind of awareness which education brings to anyone who possesses it. Education should enable us to become conscious of our own position and trajectory in society. It should help us think about solutions that are way beyond our personal concerns. This cannot be attained in this current set-up, alongside the conditions that families and students are facing right now due to the calamities and state negligence. We should stop pursuing education with an individualistic approach and start working towards a system that COLLECTIVELY molds its students, leaving no one behind.
We, the signatories, stand with the communities affected by the natural calamities and continued state neglect in calling to END THE SEMESTER and MASS PROMOTION NOW. Learning for the sake of performance indicators and world rankings is UNJUST and INHUMANE. Students are dehumanized and reduced as mere numbers and prospective contributors to this production-oriented world that we live in. If UP truly considers itself to be an institution that fosters honor and excellence, it owes to its constituents that it should put forth everyone’s holistic well-being that can be attained beyond the four walls of a classroom or a zoom meeting.
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