March 19, 2021 (3:00 PM)

5 min read


Despite the Office of the Academic Vice President (OAVP) rejecting yesterday the SAMAHAN proposal to extend the 2nd semester, SAMAHAN President-Elect Karlo Torreon disclosed that they have sent another appeal to extend the exams until March 31.

“We sent our appeal and recommendation letter this morning, stating the context of students who have exam-based requirements most especially from the Accountancy cluster,” he told Atenews.

“In this letter we stated our hope of giving an extension to students who have exam-based requirements of at least until March 31 as we believe that it is beneficial for students who are still catching up with their lessons and can better prepare themselves for the examinations,” he added.

However, Torreon admitted that the appeal would be “somewhat challenging” considering that the OAVP has already decided on the matter.

“However, we are hopeful that with the context we’ve provided to the OAVP, an alternative can be given to students who have exam-based requirements; the same way the OAVP gave an alternative to students who have output-based requirements,” he said.

AVP rejects sem extension 

Instead of extending the sem, the OAVP passed a resolution allowing deadline extensions under specific conditions. 

Said resolution would allow students in output-based courses to seek deadline extensions with their teachers. This includes thesis, on-the-job training, practicum, and laboratory subjects.

Meanwhile, students will also be permitted to apply for deadline extension on courseware requirements and other tasks with their teachers, given that these courses are not pre-requisites for summer enrolment.

The resolution, posted through the SAMAHAN Twitter page, said that students who will submit beyond the deadline of the submission of final grades on April 6 will receive an INC mark and will have the whole summer of 2021 to complete these.

While some students expressed discontent with the decision, Torreon, based on their correspondence, disclosed the OAVP’s reasons for rejecting their proposal.

First, the OAVP reiterated that extending the sem would be difficult as it “would affect the academic calendar until AY 2022-2023 and would have to undergo the process of finalization once again with all stakeholders.”

“The AVP also raised that the extension could affect the graduation date which would further delay the application of the professional board examination of graduating students in board exam programs and/or employment of these students,” Torreon said.

Summer classes would also have to be shortened from the regular six-week period, he added.

Accountancy appeals for final exam extension

For Accountancy Representative Rhoi Verallo, the AVP resolution did not address the concerns of his cluster.

“We can all agree that the resolutions given were not inclusive. Para ra ‘to sa mga naa’y output-based SAs. [Kami] na halos exams tanan, asa [mi] maka benefit didto? As usual, nabiyaan na pud [among] cluster,” he said.

Continuing with all the final exams would be problematic, according to Verallo, since students are “very far from being prepared.”

“The course loads or coverage of most subjects of the cluster were not reduced in view of the 3-month semester. As a result, all topics were discussed in a very compressed manner, making it really difficult for the students to grasp all the learnings,” he said.

“As a matter of fact, due to time constraints, there are topics to be included in the Summative Assessments that were not even discussed by some professors. As a result, the students are now forced to study these topics on their own. Moreover, there are profs who will still administer various PAs today and tomorrow, reducing the time of the students to actually prepare for the exams on Monday,” he added.

Since most of the final exams for Accountancy are exam-based, students would have to take five to six exams straight next week.

Verallo also shared that Accountancy students are mostly concerned with their department’s retention policy. With the reimplementation of the original retention policy, “students now have higher grade requirements, which give additional burden to them as they take their examinations next week.”

In case the SAMAHAN appeal will not be approved, Verallo said they plan to request professors to set output-based exams instead in order to satisfy the AVP’s resolution.

Students prefer extended exam sched, SAMAHAN survey shows 

The call to extend the semester stems from the academic policy released October last year compressing second semester academic activities from five to three months.

Dedicating the first six weeks of the second semester to provide students “quality time to rest”, all online academic activities only commenced on January 4, 2021. 

As a result, students have expressed that the shortened semester was not enough to cover all their topics.

Torreon disclosed that the SAMAHAN survey on the 2nd Semester Exit Plan showed that 75% of the student population wanted a revision of the final exam schedule, hence their push for sem extension. 

However, some students have also pointed out SAMAHAN’s late action. 

“[Some] people have been voicing their disagreement with the 3-month sem from the moment the health break memo came out. Many called for an extension in the middle of the 2nd sem, yet action wasn’t taken until the weekend before finals. Nag-survey pero sa first day of exams na…,” Third year Accountancy student Royce Denolan expressed on Twitter.

Outgoing SAMAHAN President Renz Lacorte responded that SAMAHAN lobbied for an extension in January 27, although it only resulted to a one-week extension of the final exams from the third to fourth week of March.

“We even disagreed for a full two month break because the second sem might be squeezed, but the admin reassured us that the new online system will work.”

End the silence of the gagged!

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