UP Board of Regents rejects students' appeal to postpone school opening

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 03 2020 01:01 PM

The University of the Philippines campus in Diliman, Quezon City. File

MANILA — The University of the Philippines has rejected students' plea to postpone the start of the academic year over concerns on the shift to remote learning.

On its social media accounts, the UP Office of the Student Regent said its appeal was rejected by the UP Board of Regents, the UP system's decision-making body.

"We firmly and strongly reiterate our demands to ensure safe, free, accessible, and quality education amid the pandemic," the UP Office of the Student Regent said.

With the rejection, the country's premier state university would continue to start its academic year on September 10.

UP will be shifting to remote learning methods as in-person classes remain prohibited due to the continuing threat of COVID-19, which has infected over 226,000 in the country.

The Office of the Student Regent has said nearly 10,000 students of the UP System signed their online petition, which called for the school opening postponement as many students remain unprepared for remote learning.

"The majority of the students have been firm in expressing that we are currently not confident enough to say that UP can pursue the remote learning system without leaving any student behind," the petition read.

The petition also said students who are not covered by the free tuition law and have financial constants may not able to keep up with the demands of remote learning.

"The breakdown of expenses for tuition and other school fees have not yet been officially released and details for the applications for student financial assistance are yet to be widely disseminated," it added.

There was no immediate comment from UP officials on the matter.

The university has launched a donation drive to provide desktop computers or laptops and internet connectivity to some 5,600 students who cannot afford the shift to remote learning.