SMCTI Consults Its Stakeholders on Limited F2F Classes
To discuss and discern varying perspectives on the implementation of limited face-to-face (F2F) classes, the St. Mary’s College of Tagum, Inc. (SMCTI) gathered the school administrators, faculty, parents, and students of the Higher Education Department on a consultation meeting via Zoom.
The meeting was also attended by the Crisis Management Committee (CMC) of SMCTI and a representative from the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Tagum City and lasted from 8:00 AM to 12:00 NN on Saturday, February 26, 2022.
Student representatives from different college departments reiterated the results of their departmental open forums last February 11. This contains the students’ perspectives such as support or concerns regarding the limited F2F classes.
Health risks and financial concerns are the common themes among the perspectives of students who disagreed while the majority of the students explained that internet problems, distractions, and the school as a better environment for education are enough reasons for them to demand F2F classes.
Dr. Gina M. Oracion, Vice President for Academic Affairs, presented the CHED Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2021-004 containing the guidelines on the implementation of limited F2F classes for all programs of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the Philippines.
When asked about the shifting system, Dr. Oracion answered that the consultation meeting is all about finalizing if the stakeholders are in favor of the limited F2F classes. If that decision is finalized, only then can they start formalizing the details of the cyclic shifting model that will be adapted.
“The CHED is giving us two options, 4-10 and 4-17,” Dr. Oracion said. These are cyclical shifting models where 4-10 means four days at school, 10 days at home, while 4-17 means four days at school, 17 days opting for flexible learning.
S. Maria Marilou B. Madronero, the School President, when asked about the possibility of F2F graduation for graduating students this school year said that chances are low since the school did not apply for F2F classes for the school year 2021-2022.
“Maybe, next year if we are granted the permission to conduct limited face-to-face but for now, the congregation, RVM-EMC, is very strict in holding in-person graduation rights,” S. Madronero reasoned.
However, with the parents’ positive response to various proposals such as requiring swab tests or separate graduation per program, S. Madronero later assured that they will explore the possibilities with the permission of the higher-ups and asked for everyone to pray for things to get better soon to increase the chances of F2F graduation.
Rogeneth Llanos, the representative from LGU Tagum City, congratulated the school’s initiative to conduct the consultation meeting and reminded the school of the declining COVID-19 cases in Tagum City, which could suggest further movement on the restrictions currently set in place.
Llanos also asked everyone to strengthen the campaign of ramping up the vaccination rate among the students and assured that the government is always supportive as long as safety protocols are strictly followed.
In her closing remarks, Dr. Melwin G. Mende, CHP, CGSP, the Institutional Quality Assurance Director, thanked everyone, especially the stakeholders, for taking part in the meeting. This participation ensures that the quality of SMCTI graduates is not compromised by achieving a shared agreement and that preparations for the limited F2F are well consulted to the parents.
“Because to succeed, the only direction to take is forward. And that to achieve our way forward, we need each other to collectively set the right foundation in this scholastic undertaking,” Dr. Mende concluded.
Article by: Gilbert Comprado