Two state universities in Palawan will continue to use the numerical grading for the second semester of Academic Year 2019-2020. This, despite the City Council resolution urging Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) to undertake the “mass promotion” of students.

Palawan State University (PSU) and Western Philippines University (WPU) said they have imposed the guidelines on numerical grading to their students after discussing them with the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

PSU president Dr. Ramon Docto said the university would not give “P” marks on the final grades of the students; instead, they will remain using the numerical grading.

Docto said no failing grades will be given to the students, however, there are certain requirements they need to comply with.

“Wala naman mababagsak dito, kailangan lang nila mag-submit ng requirements. Ngayon kung hindi sila maka-submit ng requirements until May 31, wala pa ring bagsak. Ang PSU ay hindi magbibigay ng bagsak, bibigyan pa sila ng another one year to comply,” he said.

Students need to comply the requirements given by their professors and instructors based on their different subjects and course programs.

Some of these requirements are presentations, paper works, research papers as pre-requisite of their thesis subject, and others depending on what their subject professors require.

Docto said that PSU could not adopt the resolution of the City Council because some students have already complied with the requirements and the PSU second semester will soon end on May 31.

He said the City Council should have passed the resolution earlier.

Based on the resolution authored by councilor Myka Magbanua on Monday, if the mass promotion will be adopted, every student will get passing grade instead of numerical data based on their performance from January to March 2020. No ”INC” or ”F” will be given provided that students comply with the requirements during the first three months of the second semester.

“Pero tapos na kasi kami nakapagpalabas, matagal na, yong iba nga ay naka-comply na at magsu-submit na kami ng grade. Sana noon pa nila ginawa ‘yan. Ito kasi ay magtatapos na, ilang days na lang kasi hanggang 31 ng May kami magtatapos. Iyong iba ay naka-submit na. Parang mass promotion rin siya pero hindi kami maglalagay ng P kasi iyon nga ang pinag-usapan ng mga university noon nang mag-meeting kami with the Philippine Association of State University and Colleges (PASUC),” Docto said.

“So, may nagsabi na mass promotion na lagyan ng P pero marami rin estudyante na ayaw ng ganoon kasi yong iba nag-aano for honor, iba naman na may entrance sa ibang eskwelahan o sa college of medicine na kailangan yong mataas na rating nila, kailangan nila yong may numerical grade talaga,” he added.

Docto said that the PSU deadline for the submission of grades is on May 30, but students who will not be able to comply until the end of the second semester will not fail as they still have a year to comply. A year for non-graduating students and a semester for graduating students.

It will be difficult to determine honors and awards if there will be no numerical grades to be given in the second semester, he added.

“Ang una namin ginawa ay dapat ‘no grade’ na siya parang walang ‘INC’ na lalabas pero sa aming system ay ‘INC’ talaga pero sinabi naman ng aming registrar na hindi na lalabas yong ‘INC’. Sa system ay blangko lang siya tapos kapag na-submit na ang grades ay yon ang lalabas,” he said.

Docto also said that the university is acknowledging the mental and psychological struggles of the students and they are assisting through the SHARE helpline of the College of Arts and Humanities (CAH) wherein professional counselors are answering calls.

No compromising the quality of education

University student government president Elijah Daniel Geanga said that they recently conducted a survey to get the reaction of the students regarding the mass promotion.

He said that out of 1,700 respondents, most prefer the mass promotion.

“Ang ginawa namin diyan we actually presented the survey to our university administration. As per our discussion, we are not going to disregard the quality of education. The students will actually be given a year to comply for non-graduating students and a semester to comply for graduating students,” he said.

“Utmost leniency and maximum consideration is actually given to them. They don’t have to worry right now kung hindi talaga kaya mag-submit, kung di kaya mag-submit ng requirements online, they still have a year to comply,” Geanga added.

Geanga said that mass promotion is a good thing for everyone but based on his own perspective, the quality of education should not be compromised and mass promotion works only on a case-to-case basis.

“To be honest, based on my own perspective lang, we are not going to compromise the quality of education that we have although the mass promotion is a good thing for everyone so no one will be left behind. Case to case basis yan let’s say for example like for nursing, we cannot just actually pass our students kasi they play a crucial role especially sa health industry so sa kanila we can’t just say mass promotion, hati ang opinion namin,” he said.

WPU to still follow CHED directive

WPU president Dr. Julie Hope Evina also shared the same stand. She said they will not undertake mass promotion for the second semester.

Evina said that they will not follow the resolution of the City Council as they are directly under the directives of CHED.

“Kasi under kami directly sa CHED at saka series of meetings na kami mga SUCs presidents with CHED,” she said.

“For the second semester, it’s not mass promotion kasi initially, ‘yan din ang akala namin na pupuwede pero in the series of the meeting ng CHED, hindi acceptable sa kanila ang mass promotion,” Evina added.

Even if the resolution was released earlier, they will still abide by the directives CHED issued, she said.

“Kahit pa yan lumabas earlier, hindi talaga kami pwede sumunod kasi may directives din ang CHED, dini-discourage ng CHED ang mass promotion kasi may basis na rin kami ng grade,” Evina added.

“Kapag mass promotion, unfair man yon sa hardworking na bata at saka syempre later on, mag-apply sila for masters, consideration din ang GWA, yan din ang reason. Karamihan ng SUC ay numerical din, hindi sila passed or failed. Sa amin ay ‘in progress’ o numerical na passing grade or drop kung talagang lumalabas na sa attendance sheet kahit minsan ay hindi nakapasok ang estudyante,” she said.

Evina said that the decision of the university is that no students will be failed. Instead, WPU will give a grade of ‘in progress’ for those who could not comply with their requirements before the due date of submission on August 13. WPU is set to end its second semester on May 23.

“Hindi rin sila bibigyan ng ‘INC’. Instead ay ‘in progress’ yong rate na ibibigay kasi kung ‘in progress’ ay hindi lang siya good for one year. Actually sa May 23 ay last day na yon, so wala na kaming mga face-to-face classes mula pa noong ECQ,” she said.

“Ang aming desisyon is for the faculty to give enough time to comply with all the requirements kaya ‘yong deadline ng submission of grades for this semester is August 13 pero ibig sabihin na kapag may mga estudyante na nakapag-comply na, pwede na bigyan ng (grade) ni teacher,” she said.

Evina advised students to keep in touch with their classmates, professors and college deans so they would also be updated.