After the Category 4-equivalent Typhoon Ulysses (international name Vamco) devastated several regions that earlier also bore the brunt of Super Typhoon Rolly and Typhoon Quinta, the University of the Philippines (UP) quickly realized the need not only to offer its assistance to communities that suffered tragic loss of life and property, but also to acknowledge the suffering these events have inflicted on its faculty, staff and students in various parts of the country.
In the spirit of solidarity with all those affected, the UP administration, via Memorandum 2020-139 of the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, is declaring the week of 16-21 November 2020 as a period of recovery for the UP community. This period is meant to aid in the efforts to raise funds, to solicit donations, to engage in the packing and delivering of relief goods to those in need, following public health protocols, and to assist in the overall rehabilitation process.
Synchronous and asynchronous classes, as well as the submission of all course requirements, are suspended during this period.
In the spirit of compassion and flexibility, the Office of the Registrar of each UP constituent university (CU) will furnish faculty members a list of the names of students who are based in areas affected by Typhoons Quinta, Rolly and Ulysses. This will help faculty members identify students who may need printed course packs or advice on course requirements. To accommodate later submissions from students, UP is also extending the submission of final grades to 22 January 2021.
The 20 percent attendance rule is also suspended this semester and should not have any influence on one’s final grade. Attendance in synchronous sessions are also not required, and faculty members should make allowances for those who miss them.
These measures come in addition to previously announced changes to academic rules, including the following:
• The deadlines for the filing leaves of absence and dropping are suspended.
• A 12-unit course load is considered regular for undergraduate students.
• The first semester AY 2020-2021 will not be counted towards MRR (maximum residency rule).
• A student enrolled in a course that is a prerequisite to another shall be allowed to enroll in the latter course for credit, despite having no grade in the former due to the extension of submission of final grades.
• The rules on academic standing: warning, dismissal, permanent disqualification, and probation are suspended.* (*for undergraduates only)
According to the memorandum, since the first semester AY 2020-2021 is considered a transition semester towards a more effective delivery of learning in succeeding semesters, faculty are called to review their course loads in light of student capacities amidst recent natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A compassionate calibration of expectations from students and teachers this semester,” the memorandum states, “is an imperative for our academic community.”