Stressing “The State of Academic Excellence in Online Education,” this year’s Sulat Tinyo 2020 Essay Writing Competition focused on capturing the ideas of students about their experiences in online classes.
The mechanics of the competition still followed the usual rules and procedures such as one-hour time for writing. Shifting online this year, however, the participants were first gathered in a Google Meet session where they were re-oriented of the essay competition’s guidelines.
The participants, who come from the school’s nine clusters, were instructed to submit their entries within 1 hour and 15 minutes, in order to avoid point deductions. If they had reached and exceeded 30 minutes after the allotted time, then they would be disqualified.
Kent Ongcoy, one of the organizers of the event, shared that the pandemic changed the dynamics of the celebration of the Fiesta this year.
He further expressed that the current situation should call for new methods to push through the event.
“This Fiesta is also remarkably different from the ones that we had and we think that calls for improvisation. Extraordinary times call for special events like this,” says Ongcoy.
Ongcoy also mentioned that they still pursued the conduct of the competition to help students speak their message or narrative, particularly on the topic “The State of Academic Excellence in Online Education.”
“I think the foremost motivation of Sulat Tinyo is to capture the message of our participants that they would like to express in these extraordinary times. Narratives are powerful and I think this will manifest in their essays,” says Ongcoy.
“It is interesting how our participants will write about [the topic] especially we are in an institution that really values education and with the combination of their own experiences. This topic is something that we can relate to and reflect on. The chosen essays will be posted on SAMAHAN Newsfeed. I hope we will all look forward to that,” he added.
Amirah Sakay, the representative of the School of Education (SOE), cited that the event helps the writers to share their thoughts about an important topic despite experiencing personal struggles.
“I think it’s a great way to get Ateneans to express their views and ideas especially since we have limited means to do that in the midst of this pandemic. It meant a lot that they decided to give writers a chance to shine because the previous Fiestas never really included competitions like this,” shares Sakay.
“Personally, I found the topic a little too vague and struggled to write about it. It didn’t help that the criteria required us to make the essay somehow inspiring, so I felt a little limited with the perspectives I could write the essay from. I enjoyed the experience though. Even if we all worked on our own, this event helped ignite the Fiesta spirit within us,” she added.
The essay writing competition is the first in a series of events in celebration of the 72nd Ateneo Fiesta from August 12 to 13.
The winners of the event will be announced in the closing program later tonight.