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[OPINION] Cure the Infected Dream

By Agustin Vicente Bas | Creative Steals

Vol. XCI No. 18

Mar. 6, 2020

“To finish college.” That’s every single college student’s dream. May it be with flying colors, or for some, no colors at all, the dream stays the same. Students have fought, struggled, and survived long enough so that they could hear their names announced while slowly walking up on stage wearing their black togas. But what happens if, after those sacrifices, the dream of graduating would arrive late only because of an outbreak that the school didn’t expect? That’s right. That is what’s happening at Silliman University (SU) right now.

A faculty member from the College of Arts and Sciences stated that the Commission on Higher Education has already set the first week of March as the deadline for the final grades of the graduating students. That’s not a problem at all, as graduating students are to submit requirements earlier than those non-graduating students so that the school could immediately have the final list of graduating students.

But then COVID-19 came. No one in Silliman expected it to become a massive threat in the school. At first, I couldn’t even believe that of all places in the Philippines, Dumaguete City was one of the primary destinations of the infected Chinese tourists. I mean, this small city? Right? 

Things in school escalated, and it resulted in an almost 2-week no work and class situation inside Silliman University. I have nothing against it. I even wish to applaud Silliman for all the precautionary and safety measures that it is doing to ensure the safety of everyone on the campus.

But for the graduating students, a week of class and work suspension could also mean a week of delay for their submission of requirements. A student from a huge college department even told me that their teachers didn’t give them an amount of consideration due to the outbreak incident. Instead, the idea of graduating by summer was handed as a response.

Understandably, a requirement is a requirement (this goes to both teachers and students.) But the class suspension wasn’t anyone involved’s fault. Yes, the students could have finished everything else earlier by doing their work at a much faster pace. Yes, the students could also have worked during the class suspension, but that class suspension wasn’t just because of an essential national holiday, it was a virus outbreak. How about those requirements that would require the students to have a face-to-face encounter with others? The university even advised the students to avoid crowded places (as per SU Advisory #2). These things should be considerable cases, as it puts the students’ lives at risk of being infected. 

I believe that there is a much better resolution to this. Something that would make the teachers and students meet halfway. A consideration that would still make the students submit on time and not submit a rushed mediocre output. This setback is not a reason for them to give up or move slowly. It should be something that would motivate them to finish their requirements on time, especially when March graduation is right around the corner. 

A teacher shouldn’t be a hindrance to a student’s graduation, especially if the student deserves it. Graduating is a dream that every student has, and teachers should serve as an encouragement to these students, not an obstacle—especially when graduating was also once a teacher’s dream.


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