The Palawan State University (PSU) is set to end its 2nd Semester on May 30 without holding usual classes but utilizing instead flexible learning schemes.

University president Dr. Ramon Docto said Friday that the second semester is supposed to end on May 9. However, he said it was extended to May 30 during a management committee meeting held April 23.

Docto said the extension of the semester aims to provide enough time for students to comply with the needed requirements of their course programs.

“Magtatapos sana tayo ng May 9, that’s the original schedule pero we extend the semester up to May 30, hanggang katapusan pero ang arrangement ay wala pa ring face-to-face study or classroom situation,” he said.

“Ang gagawin ay ang tinatawag natin na flexible learning scheme using online. Kung walang connectivity, they can use cellphones. At yong mga lugar na wala talagang signal baka manawagan na lang sa radyo kung ano yong gagawin ng mga estudyante,” Docto added.

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Docto said that teachers may provide requirements and assignments using the internet. They could hold classes utilizing Zoom and similar applications to connect with the students.

He said that for students residing in distant areas, radio could be a medium for education.

Docto said state universities and colleges (SUCs) in MIMAROPA had met with the regional director of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to come up with an academic calendar since the provinces are similarly situated.

“Sa MIMAROPA, out of six state universities and colleges, may lima na nakapagbigay na ng midterm, isa ang PSU don na nakapagbigay bago nag-quarantine. Ibig sabihin noon ay finals na lang, ang gagawin don sa finals, instead na magklase kasi di pa rin natin na safe na kahit general quarantine na tayo pero sa mga bata kasi,” he said.

Docto said that even social distancing would be practiced in classrooms, but the crowd in public utility vehicles will still expose students to health risks.

PSU not for the idea of mass promotion

He said that students will have until May 30 to comply with all the requirements for the 2nd Semester.

“Sa ibang schools na katulad ng makita sa social media na ang iba raw ay may mass promotion. We are not for the idea of mass promotion,” he said.

Yong iba naman nagsabi na lagyan lang ng ‘passed’ ang grades, meron din na during our meeting nagsabi na hindi rin naman maganda kasi yong ibang estudyante ay nag-effort, yong iba naman na during midterm pa lang ay hindi naman masyado. Wala tayong ibabagsak pero meron pa rin numerical grade,” Docto added.

Docto said that there will be no failing grades, incomplete or INC, and 4.00 to be given to the students.

Within the period given, students must submit the requirements. Docto said that if they fail to comply, they will be given a ‘no grade’ remark and will have a year to comply.

“Within the period na di pa siya naka-submit, no grade lang siya pero bibigyan pa siya ng one year to comply. Hindi rin kasi maganda kapag INC kasi depende rin na may mga estudyante tayo na gustuhin man nila pero nasa isla sila, ‘di makapunta sa Puerto, wala silang connections iyon din ang considerations namin,” he said.

Recently, the University Student Government (USG) posted on its Facebook a survey on the perception of students regarding mass promotion and the ending of the second semester.

“Actually binigay din sa amin (yong result) pero sabi ko nga, kung ano yong inyong decisions ay hindi agad ibig sabihin na iaano agad ng administration. At saka yong study na iyon ay baka dito lang iyon sa Puerto Princesa so how about yong mga estudyante na nasa [ibang lugar?],” he said.

“Kumbaga sa research, hindi siya ganon ‘yong sample na nakuha nila ay hindi representative sa general population,” he said.

Other academic activities

Docto said that the university will not open summer classes in June, except for graduating students and course programs that are required to do summer classes as written on their prospectus.

“Pero iyon pa rin, kung may classroom, ingatan pa rin, kailangan gamitan ng social distancing, kailangan naka-face mask. Lahat ng pag-iingat,” he said.

He said that the university will conduct training to faculty members and administrators in using an online medium so it would be applied in classes and meetings.

The commencement exercise is originally scheduled on June 9 but the situation will still depend on the decision of the local government.

“Depende pa rin sa local government kung babawalan ba tayo pumunta sa mga lugar, yong general rules. May ginawa kasi kaming three scenarios, kung talagang worst scenario so walang graduation muna pero bibigyan sila ng diploma pero walanh commencement na ceremony,” he said.

The schedule for admission might be in May or June. Docto said that the final calendar including the specific guidelines will be announced after the academic council meeting on April 27.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.