#JunkSAIS: UPLB students decry new online enlistment system

April Benjamin and Pia Regalado, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 31 2016 03:03 AM | Updated as of Jul 31 2016 01:27 PM

MANILA -- Hundreds of students camped out Saturday night at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) grounds to enlist subjects using a newly implemented online enlistment system for the first semester of academic year 2016-2017.

The new system called Student Academic Information System (SAIS) is an initiative of UP President Alfredo Pascual. It is claimed to be a development to track student records and make online subject enlistment easier. 

Aside from UPLB, SAIS has also been implemented in UP Manila and UP Baguio. But it is scheduled to be rolled out across all the UP campuses, including the flagship campus in Diliman, Quezon City.

However, on its first time being implemented in UPLB, students have complained that SAIS made it even difficult to enlist subjects.

“Pangit ang interface, in terms of functionality, hindi efficient, sobrang daming buttons na dapat i-click,” said UPLB University Student Council Chairperson Merwin Alinea.

Screenshot from SAIS tutorial video

But even bigger than the problem in interface and efficiency, SAIS website has been repeatedly inaccessible since its launch

Students took to social media to complain about the failed implementation which was supposed to start July 28 (Thursday), when graduating students were given the opportunity to pick their courses ahead of the others.

"Okay naman noong (July) 28 pero nu'ng (July) 29, 12 a.m., the site was inaccessible to everyone. Around 2 a.m., nag-release po ang SAIS team ng statement na itutuloy 9 a.m. ng July 30 magre-resume ang enlistment," Communication Arts student Rya Ducusin said in an interview with ABS-CBN News.

But between 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. on July 29 (Friday), some students who were online successfully accessed the website and were able to enlist their courses.

"Nag-release ng panibagong statement na on July 30 (Saturday) 11 a.m., magre-resume ang enlistment officially. But the whole day wala pong nakaka-access ng site," Ducusin said.

The eUP team released a statement Saturday morning to apologize for the failure in implementation and postponement of enlistment.

On Saturday night, students flocked to the UPLB campus upon learning that the site may be accessed faster using the campus WIFI connection. Most of them gathered with their laptops in front the Physical Science building where the WIFI signal is stronger.

The UPLB USC also announced that curfew is lifted in some areas of the campus to allow for the enlistment.

As of 2:00 a.m., around 500 students were inside the campus, Alinea said

Previously, UPLB students enlist courses online through SystemOne website which is under the management of the campus' Institute of Computer Science. Through SystemOne, students had a list of pre-determined subjects which they could personalize. They could choose which subjects to enroll in, given that they passed the prerequisites.

Students said unlike in SystemOne, in SAIS, they would have to create their own schedules from scratch without assurance of getting the courses unless they have paid their matriculation fees.

Classes in UPLB start on August 3, Wednesday. -- With Anjo Bagaoisan, ABS-CBN News