/ 15 September 2021

UNIVERSITY of the Philippines students urged school administrators to delay the opening of classes for Academic Year 2021-2022, saying that “the whole community is not yet ready.”

Classes in the university are set to open on September 17.

Rise for Education Alliance-UP Diliman chapter, along with other student organizations, said that students, professors, and staff are facing numerous challenges “which hinder their preparedness for the upcoming semester.”

“The registration process has become more difficult with the removal of the second batch run. This has forced students to compete for slots, leaving them to endure the semester with underloaded units, or to go through the long and tedious process of waitlist and professor’s pre-rog, with no guarantee of getting the slots and units they need,” the alliance said in a statement.

“It is not only the students who are facing these hindrances in learning, but also the professors. A great number of UP professors are facing difficulties on technological skills, more so on using the new University Virtual Learning Environment,” it added.

The group lamented that the lack of guidelines in remote learning and the P1.3 billion budget cut in the UP System for 2022 “worsen the current state of education.”

“These hindrances in opening an effective academic year clearly call for a consideration in moving the upcoming semester. Most importantly, UP should seriously consider moving the start of the semester to accommodate and enact these changes,” it said.

UP-RE called on school officials to release the 2020-2021 remote learning assessment result, strengthen and widen financial and gadget support, ensure consultative and proactive academic roadmap of AY 2021-2022, and recalibrate the academic calendar.

“We must keep on calling the UP Administration to heed the plight of its constituents. It is a challenge for them to be more consultative, proactive, and pro-UP in decision making. It must exhaust all means to oppose the sudden budget cut,” the group said.

“The insufficient class slots are already a manifestation of lack of budget allocation to our education. Evidently, these budget cuts just further make classes inaccessible to some students and give more burden to the faculty,” it added.