BatStateU issues guidelines on academic arrangements amid CoViD-19 pandemic

The Office of the University President released Memorandum Order No. 236, s.2020, specifying Batangas State University’s courses of action relative to its academic operations amid the CoViD-19 global pandemic.

The memorandum, entitled “Guidelines on flexible and alternative modes of teaching and learning for the remainder of the Second Semester, Academic Year 2019-2020, for midterm/summer classes, and for the First Semester, Academic Year 2020-2021,” was released on April 18, 2020 after deliberation and approval by the university’s Academic Council in its online meeting held on April 16, 2020.

Anchored on the guidelines stipulated in COVID Advisory No. 6 released by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and to existing government announcements on the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), which was extended until April 30, 2020, the university’s guidelines were premised on the notion that instructional delivery shall continue through alternative modalities without compromising the health and safety of both faculty and students.

BatStateU has adjusted its academic calendar, with the second semester of the current academic year resuming on May 4, 2020 and will last until June 4, 2020. Midterm/summer classes will start on June 24, 2020 and is mapped to end on July 31, 2020. On the other hand, the first semester of AY 2020-2021 will be from August 17, 2020 to December 20, 2020.

Following quarantine protocols, both faculty and students shall not report physically to the campus during the extension of the semester. Consequently, flexible, alternative modes of teaching and learning shall be adopted. Some of the proposed modalities include the use of available online platforms (e-mail and/or social media accounts), mobile phones (SMS), landline phones, or any other means as agreed by the students and faculty, to be approved by the department chairs and college deans.

Prior to the resumption of the semester, faculty members would survey their students to determine all the possible communication means available to them, from which they will base their learning plans and strategies. In addition, there will only be one final output/examination to be required from the students, which would cover the lectures given during the semestral extension.

Students who are conducting their thesis/research studies are expected to consult with their adviser through any of the means mentioned above. For unfinished prototypes before the implementation of ECQ, secondary data may be used to validate the design through simulation in lieu of primary data from field/lab experimentations. Student trainees who are pulled out from their On the Job Training (OJT) will be given alternative activities to complete the required training hours.

For the Integrated School (IS), Facebook groups for Kinder to Grade 6 and Schoology Learning Management System Accounts for Grade 7 to Grade 12 will be created by the subject teachers, in coordination with the class advisers. Video lectures and other learning materials will be communicated through the given medium, and summarative assessments will be done upon the resumption of regular classes or will be forwarded through Schoology LMS.

Guidelines for the midterm/summer classes are the same as indicated above, to contain the probable spread of the virus. Faculty members were instructed to exhaust all possible means to assist the students in order for them to acquire the learning outcomes and pass their courses.

For the First Semester of AY 2020-2021, new first year students are not required to report to the University for their enrollment. This will also be done via e-mail or upon the instruction coming from the Testing and Admission Office, University Registrar, and Information and Communications Technology Office. The hard copy of the required documents shall be submitted at the start of classes.

The memorandum also specifies that beginning the first semester of AY 2020-2021, BatStateU will adopt a 50-50 mode of teaching and learning. Fifty percent (50%) of the discussions shall be facilitated in class and the other half shall be done through online modes of instructional delivery.

All of the provisions are subject for monitoring and evaluation by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and all the gathered feedback through the established feedback mechanism shall be used to enhance the effectiveness of the existing guidelines.

The BatStateU administration still encourages everyone to practice the protocols being imposed during the course of the ECQ period. The university assures its stakeholders that it continuously explores possibilities on how to effectively address the needs of its faculty and students, and provide assistance to those who need it in this time of crisis.