The University of the Philippines released on 23 April 2020 implementing guidelines for proceeding with the Second Semester of Academic Year 2019-2020, which has been affected by the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon and other parts of the country.
The guidelines, issued by UP President Danilo L. Concepcion, reflect the resolution of the UP Board of Regents (BOR) in its special meeting on 16 April 2020. The resolution was based on the 13 April 2020 recommendations of UP’s President’s Advisory Committee (PAC) which, in turn, were drawn from the recommendations of the UP System Academic Affairs Committee that were based on the decisions of the Constituent Universities’ Executive Committees in consultation with College Secretaries, Graduate Program Coordinators, Deans and faculty. The PAC endorsed the following proposed policy on the Second Semester AY 2019-2020 to the BOR: 1) end the semester on 30 April 2020; 2) assure that students will not fail the course but that their grade of P (Pass) with optional adjectival remarks will be deferred until they meet adjusted course requirements by 31 May 2021; and 3) allow earlier completion of requirements by students on a CU-set deadline.
Guided equally by the UP’s mandate as the National University committed to quality education and by the extreme conditions confronting its students and faculty during the ECQ in Luzon and other parts of the country, the BOR adopted the PAC-proposed “Policy on the Second Semester AY 2019-2020 in the time of COVID-19”, dated 13 April 2020, with revision. Specifically, the Board replaced the recommended P (Pass with optional adjectival remarks) with numeric grades and granted units offering graduate courses the leeway to determine how best to proceed with learning and assessment, in consultation with their students and in consideration of the current crisis situation.
The Academic Year and deadlines
The last day of class for the semester is 30 April 2020.
The CUs will set a deadline for faculty members to disseminate the adjusted course requirement to all their students. Faculty members who are unable to reach some students may seek the assistance of the College Secretaries of the students’ home unit.
The CUs will also set the deadline, allowing sufficient time, for the earlier completion within the semester of adjusted course requirements by graduating students and other students who may opt for this.
The end dates indicated in the approved academic calendar—such as for the submission of grades and University Council meetings for graduating students—will be revised by the CUs for approval by the UP President.
The CUs may decide on proceeding with Midyear 2020 on a schedule informed by ongoing assessments of the COVID-19 situation. In any case, Midyear 2020 should be seen as an opportunity to offer bridging programs.
Academic activities after 30 April 2020
There will be no face-to-face classes for the rest of the academic year for both undergraduate and graduate programs. Due to internet access issues that will be addressed in the next semester, online classes are discouraged, but may be conducted only for leveling expectations, clarifications, overall guidance, and summation. Real-time online meetings should not impact grading and should be recorded and disseminated to all students concerned.
Units offering laboratory, studio, PE, NSTP, and similar courses are free to redesign the course and explore options to facilitate the completion of these courses remotely.
Adjusted course requirements may take the form of an examination or alternative forms of summative assessment (e.g. reflection paper or critical analysis) to be scheduled by the units based on the CU deadline for earlier completion.
As a sit-down proctored final examination may no longer be feasible, online exams may be administered. For this, the platform to be used, the students’ internet connection, and their psychological preparedness to take the exam online must be considered.
Graduate programs are strongly encouraged to adopt or conform with the general framework, rationale and guidelines on the conduct of academic exercises, as contained in the BOR Resolution. Units offering or handling graduate programs may opt to adopt the policies in this section.
No student will be given a grade of 4.0, 5.0 or INC for courses in the Second Semester AY 2019-2020.
Students may elect to drop at any time and re-enroll their courses or re-enroll in alternative elective courses or equivalent courses in succeeding semesters. DRP given for the Second Semester AY 2019-2020 will be annotated in the Transcript of Records with an asterisk to indicate: due to COVID-19.
Students may also choose not to pursue, in any way, their enrolled courses for the Second Semester AY 2019-2020, as long as they inform in writing their registrar, through their dean, of this choice at any time before 31 May 2021. The students will be deemed dropped as of that date and will not receive grades for these courses in their transcript of records. They will be allowed to re-enroll their courses or equivalent courses in the succeeding semesters.
Faculty members who have sufficient basis to give their students a grade as of the end of the semester must give a numeric grade to students with passing status and a deferred grade to those failing or incomplete. The latter have until 31 May 2021 to complete the adjusted course requirements.
“When faculty members are unable to perform their academic function due to the COVID- 19 crisis, their respective units, out of duty and compassion for the faculty members concerned and their students, shall ensure that those who comply with the adjusted requirements of the course are given a grade.”
Where there is no sufficient basis for giving students a grade as of the end of the semester, grades will be deferred. Again, students have up to 31 May 2021 to complete the adjusted course requirements.
Upon completion, the faculty will give a numeric grade to students who have complied with the adjusted course requirements, or drop the students unable to comply for whatever reason, whose performance is unsatisfactory or whose status is failing. The latter may re-enroll the same course or equivalent subject in succeeding semesters.
Numeric grade exemption
A unit, on behalf of its faculty members, may file applications for exemption from the provisions of the UP System policy of imposing only a numeric grading system in the Second Semester AY 2019-2020.
The application should be justified and limited to seeking authority to give P (Pass) as a grade with the faculty having the option to give numeric grades to students whose circumstances so require.
Applications must be filed on or before 15 May 2020 through the chancellors, who will then endorse them to the UP President through the Office of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs for eventual consideration of the BOR.
Academic standing and scholarship
The University is waiving academic deadlines on scholastic standing and student financial assistance for this semester. The deadlines for dropping subjects and filing leave of absence for this semester have also been lifted.
The semester will not be included in the reckoning or in the counting of years of residence of a student.
A student who incurred an INC or a 4.0 in Second Semester 2018-2019 will be allowed to remove the INC or 4.0 until the first semester of AY 2020-2021.
For this semester, the University is suspending the rules on scholastic standing having to do with delinquency, and policies on student financial assistance tied to scholastic standing.
A student enrolled in a course this semester that is a prerequisite to another will be allowed to enroll in the latter course for credit, despite having no grade yet for the prerequisite course. Appropriate bridging mechanisms by the offering units should be devised to help these students catch up with the prerequisite course.
The bridging programs may be in the form of self-instructional modules, learning packages, or online workshops. The design and mode of delivery of the bridging programs should consider the current crisis conditions as well as the need to manage the workload of both faculty and students.
The unit can develop programs, that will hone the competence of students in the critical courses of their programs, designed for flexible delivery that students can avail in the Midyear 2020 or the First Semester AY 2020-2021.
Graduating students completing the requirements by the deadline set by the CU for the Second Semester AY 2019-2020 will be endorsed for graduation to the BOR when it meets in June or July 2020.
However, graduation ceremonies are postponed “to a more auspicious time”.
Graduating students with deferred grades at the end of this semester, who complete their requirements after the deadline set by the CU for the Second Semester AY 2019-2020, will be endorsed for graduation to the BOR in the semester the student completes the requirements.
However, the student will be deemed “graduated as of the Second Semester AY 2019-2020”.