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VPAA withdraws plan to resume F2F classes

by Ranjie Nocete | January 17, 2022

The plan to resume face-to-face (F2F) classes will be canceled until further announcement concerning the onslaught of Typhoon Odette and the recent spike of COVID–19 cases, said Dr. Earl Jude Cleope, Vice President for Academic Affairs. 

Recently, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) announced limited in-person classes for higher education institutions (HEIs) in areas under Alert Level 3 to start on January 31.

However, according to Cleope, Silliman University will have to do online distance learning (ODL) at least within the next three months.

He explained, “It’s now a double-whammy. Before, we just had to contend with the pandemic. Now, the effects of the typhoon.”

”What is important is we can start the second semester and then, later on, work on those identified subjects that really need F2F for the students to come,” he said.

The start of the second semester is set to begin on February 7. “We could have made it January 31, but February 1 is also Chinese New Year so at least there will be an allowance,” he added.

He said that the school calendar will be adjusted and that they are already in the process of changing some important events and dates that were already approved while complying with the required number of lecture hours.

Considering that many students are not from the island of Negros and Negros Oriental has been placed under Alert Level 3 last Sunday, they will have to comply with protocols for F2F classes. “Antigen test, RT-PCR [reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction], even quarantine. This is very, very taxing for the students,” he said.

Moreover, Cleope said that the memorandum that extended the examination and deadline for requirements until January 7 was to monitor the students’ output submissions. 

He added that they also closely monitored the Silliman Online University Learning (SOUL) platform itself to check the logins and the ability of students to enter their virtual classroom.

“We also took cognizance of the consultation being done by the unit heads with the faculty and even the student council and the student government in trying to trace and in trying to contact those who are affected,” he added.

Cleope said that after the recently-held Dean’s Conference, “we have the data, we have all the facts that we need to discuss, plus, we also got the data from Disaster Risk Management, from the different towns and from the different provinces and islands.”

The deadline for the submission of grades for the faculty has also been extended.

Cleope shared that the Office of Student Services, headed by Dr. Edna Gladys Calingacion, established mechanisms for psychosocial processing, especially for students in Odette-affected areas.

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