UP Diliman shifts to online classes amid COVID-19 spread

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 13 2020 08:39 AM

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MANILA - The University of the Philippines Diliman will be shifting classes online amid the rising cases of the novel coronavirus in the country, UP chancellor Fidel Nemenzo said late Thursday.

In a statement, Nemenzo said he asked the faculty of the campus to adjust their syllabi and requirements, and shift to online teaching under the guidelines of university's academic affairs office.

"Work and classes in UP Diliman should continue despite COVID-19. We just have to shift to a different mode - one that is resilient and agile. Heads of units are requested to work out the details of these arrangements at the level of their offices and disciplines," he said.

"These are drastic, but necessary measures that universities in other countries, such as Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, the US and Italy, have also taken to protect the health of their communities."

Students will be using Google classroom to conduct their classes. A webinar will be provided by the university's Open University campus to give instructions about online classes.

The UPOU pioneered online teaching in all of the constituent units of the state university.

Nemenzo also encouraged students to use alternative modes of learning with their instructors.

He added that student services like online libraries, the University Food Service that provides food for students residing near the campus, and offices will still be open with "minimal workforce."

"Here, we are ensuring that our health service and workforce and other services are equipped and supported to be able to effectively and sustainably do their work," he said.

"More critically, we want to prepare our communities – faculty, students, REPS, staff, barangay residents– to respond collectively, rather than individually, to the crisis."

UP Diliman confirmed that three of its members are now under investigation for possible infection of COVID-19. They are still waiting for results of the test.

The chancellor did not specify whether the patients were students, faculty members or UP employees.

As of late Thursday, the Philippines has recorded 3 new fatalities from the said virus, raising the total death toll to 5, with 52 cases at hand.