‘Home-based learning’ to continue despite students’ petition for suspension

De La Salle Lipa (DLSL) announced that it would uphold the implemented ‘home-based learning’ structure despite the college students’ petition to cancel online classes amidst the COVID-19 health crisis, Mar. 22. 

According to Iezyl Torino, vice chancellor for academics (VCA), the new guidelines released by DLSL reflects the decision to proceed through a ‘relaxed mode of instruction’ instead of suspension. 

Stock photo of Iezyl Torino, VCA (K. Vivas)

“It would be simply a relaxed mode of instruction using the minimum requirements that are doable and can be connected with the students, if possible, using various platforms,” Torino said.

According to the VCA, a request for a lax approach to all requirements for both the Integrated School and the colleges has been made in addition to teachers being instructed to be flexible, open and sensitive in order to accommodate the concerns of the students. 

Torino added that part of the guidelines indicates the possible use of other available platforms for communication and requirement submissions which may be done by students on a ‘staggered basis’.

“It might be that [the enhanced community quarantine] could be extended and then […] So to just ensure that we are actually basically meeting the minimum, we go with the online classes and just ensure that we stay connected,”  said Torino. 

With regard to the possibility of extending the academic year, Torino said that it will depend on whether the period devoted to home-based learning will be counted in the academic school year.

“Because if we can do that [online learning] and that [can] be counted in the academic school year, then we could actually try to rationalize that with DepEd and CHED,” Torino said.

Meanwhile, Torino said discussions regarding the computation of the midterm grades, and fees for the use of facilities like the Learning Resource Center (LRC) and laboratories and the graduation ceremony are not yet final.

Concerning the quality of education being received, Torino also said that due to the uncertainties of the quarantine period, there is no better way than to try home-based learning.

“For this time, we cannot actually say na what we deliver is quality education. I am actually amenable to that,” the VCA said.

However, Torino also said that for them to address students’ concerns immediately, course shells have been launched as a platform for grievances in Canvas.

On Mar. 17, students launched a petition calling for a suspension of online classes due to unstable internet connections and lack of access to capable devices. Currently the petition has 1,967 signatures. 

As of press time, the Student Government has been unavailable for comments regarding the issue.

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