UP Diliman chancellor says original academic schedule stays amid COVID-19 challenges

Published April 20, 2021, 7:01 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

Despite the clamor for class cancellation and easing of academic workload, University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Chancellor Fidel R. Nemenzo said the university has recommended keeping the original academic schedule this semester.

University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Chancellor Fidel R. Nemenzo

“We are aware of the impact of the pandemic’s alarming surge this year, as well as your hardships while pursuing a UP education remotely instead of in a physical campus. All of these may have contributed to the calls to cancel classes and relax school requirements,” Nemenzo said in a statement on Tuesday, April 20.

“Because of concern over the domino effect of another class suspension on an already tight school year, the University recommended to keep the original academic schedule,” he added.

However, Nemenzo assured that the university is doing what it can to respond to the needs of students and faculty, especially those most affected by the pandemic.

“We know that many have been experiencing immense physical and mental difficulties, fear, loss, isolation, grief, financial pressure, and various other stresses and uncertainties. This is why, as we continue with the semester, students and faculty must strive to make our ‘classrooms’ not only spaces for academic practice but opportunities for connection and meaningful engagement, for communicating care and building a sense of community,” he explained.

To this end, Nemenzo said UP Diliman will set up additional support programs for students and faculty in need while continuing existing support services, which are as follows;

For those in need of an isolation facility (for mild, asymptomatic, and/or no comorbidities), the UP Diliman isolation facilities at Silungang Molave and Kamia will prioritize students, staff, and faculty.

Details about free swab tests for symptomatic and close-contact exposure may contact Silungang Molave (89818500 loc. 4611).

For free telemedicine consultations and psychotherapy for students, staff, faculty, and dependents, appointments with the University Health Service may be done remotely through https://appointlet.com.

You may also call (89818500 loc. 2702) or email ([email protected]) to avail of other services such as free medicines for emergency cases; free lab tests (CBC, urinalysis, x-ray); for urgent cases and discounts on specialized tests; and free tetanus toxoid vaccination.

For concerns about mental well-being, UPD PsycServ ([email protected], 09167573157), and UPD Ugnayan ng Pahinungod ([email protected]) provide peer-to-peer counseling; and together with UPD Office of Counseling and Guidance ([email protected]), these are free psychotherapy and psychosocial support services offered to students, staff, and faculty.

For students who need financial assistance, they may inquire about scholarships and grant programs, student loans, and part-time work through student and graduate assistantships from the Office of Scholarships and Grants ([email protected]).

OSG also processes claims for GSIS insurance for free tuition grantees and provides financial assistance for medical expenses through the Financial Assistance for Student Contingencies Program.

For guidance on university services, policies, and processes, the AskUPD Student Helpdesk ([email protected]) online community (http://bit.ly/kapitlapit) has also been established as a one-stop center for student concerns.