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Cebu Normal University (CNU) has decided to end the current school semester heeding the majority of its student’s call as indicated in the University’s Strategic Action amid Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Modified Academic Plan (MAP).  

Read: [CNU Strategic Actions Amid COVID-19

The CNU Supreme Student Council (SSC) conducted a General Contingency Survey last April 21 to 24, 2020 which was answered by 1,952 students. A total of 88.9 percent of the respondents were in favor of ending the semester. 

After successive deliberations of the CNU Administrative and Academic Councils, CNU’s strategic action plan was approved by the CNU Board of Regents (BOR) on April 29, 2020 and was released to the public last May 4, 2020 through its Public Information Office (PIO) Facebook account.

CNU decided to end the second semester of A.Y. 2019-2020 indicating that there will be no final examinations but would not go about the mass promotion where all students are considered passed without submitting some requirements. The students are still required to complete academic requirements to justify their grades. 

As stipulated on the action plan, students are given three weeks (after the ECQ is lifted on May 15) to finalize and submit their school requirements. A No Grade (NG) will be given to students who cannot submit within the given grace period however, they are given a year to comply with the requirements given by their teachers. 

“The University Administration ensures continuity and sustainability of its operations without sacrificing the well-being of the students, employees and other stakeholders in this time of pandemic,” CNU President Dr. Filomena Dayagbil said in her message to the CNU family.

“We are called to rise above these unprecedented challenges and continue to nurture dreams… As one family, let us continue to work together in these difficult times,” she said.

Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman J. Prospero de Vera III said in an interview last April that he will leave the decision to the universities and colleges to implement the mass promotion policy for the students as an exercise of academic freedom given the different institutions’ capacities. 

Faye Andrea Francisco, Bachelor of Science (BS) Nursing 2 student expressed that she appreciates and respects the decision of the Admin Council, but wished for the mass promotion policy to be granted since there are a minority of the students who have a hard time in passing the requirements due to various personal reasons. 

Julie Pearl Palicte, Bachelor of Elementary Education (BEEd) 4 student said that it would be easier for the students if the mass promotion policy was implemented “but knowing CNU, they would never let us go the easy way and would never compromise the quality of graduates they will produce.”

“I think it’s a fair deal. Under the uncontrollable circumstance we are all facing, many of us if not all are battling anxiety. Our retention of knowledge is greatly affected thus making us unable to properly learn and understand what we supposedly want to,” Paula Jen Louisse Cabatingan, Diploma for Professional Education (DPE) student said. 

“I must say that it is being crafted good [sic] enough to promote measures wherein the varied concerns of the stakeholders are well represented with favorable considerations. Further, this serves as the middle ground for us as far as the extent of academic freedom and public safety is concerned,” Jeson Bustamante, College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) faculty said.

“By not having mass promotion, we are giving value to the efforts of our students who really complied with the course requirements. No matter how limited the resources, most of our students really did submit their outputs. And ending the semester is just the most humane thing to do because we have to prioritize not only the physical health but also the mental health of both our students and faculty. Besides, our students already have grades in the midterm and we cannot just disregard it and give a uniform rating,” Monique Cordova, Integrated Laboratory School (ILS) faculty said. 

“CNU’s decision shows a lot of respect for academic freedom. It places the decision to promote students on the capacity of its faculty to assess their readiness to proceed to the next course… I just hope our students understand that they cannot proceed to the next course half-baked,” Nigel Glenn Javier, College of Teacher Education (CTE) faculty said.

Javier said that students’ genuine love for learning must prevail. (JDF)

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