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UC administration must face the issue squarely

By: Atty. Ruphil F. Bañoc - CDN Digital | October 25,2019 - 08:15 AM

In answer to my previous column entitled “What can UC and CHED do to UC students’ problem?” Atty. Augusto Go, University of Cebu (UC) President,  gave an interview to CDN Digital to express his side. 

Sadly, Atty. Go evaded the real issues and went on a damage control effort. He did not say he would conduct a thorough investigation on the matter and let the ax fall where it must.  

He talked about his intention of “helping” the 34 out of 40 electrical engineering students who were not able to graduate last week. Let me substantially enumerate his offer to the students, to wit: 

1. They enroll with UC for the next semester (2nd semester School year 2019-2020) and take the review classes or the subjects that they failed free of charge. They will be using a fully air-conditioned classroom. 

2. Each of the students will be given a monthly allowance of P 1,000, to be used for transportation. 

3.  The Dean, chairperson and the faculty have been instructed to exhaustively conduct classes and drill them through exams and quizzes.

4. At the end of the semester, if the students still fail the subjects, they will be able to enroll for summer class under the same arrangement. If they still fail, then there is nothing he can do anymore.

With all due respect, the offer of Atty. Go looks good, if not a lame attempt to fix a terrible mess the people below him may have created.

However, I would like to suggest to Atty. Go, the dean, chairman and faculty members of the electrical engineering department that they take a second look of the records of the students.  What about a re-computation of their grades? What about an evaluation or assessment of the entire performance from first year to fourth year? 

This is to give justice to both the students and Atty. Go himself. Those who deserve to graduate should be given their diplomas immediately because it is not easy for them to spend more time to enroll for another semester. At least, the parents will already be relieved of that particular chapter. 

The students will decide to take review classes at review centers with lecturers who are true expert engineers before taking the board exams. Some might apply for jobs to help their family while buying more time to review. After all, a lot of non-license engineers have climbed the corporate ladders. 

On the part of Atty. Go, at least he will not be spending the amount of 34 thousand pesos (huge?) per month for the 34 students’ allowance.  He can have a lot of savings if after the re-computation only a few are left for enrolment. 

I cannot easily believe that the 34 electrical engineering students survived from first year to fourth year and failed in the last semester of the fifth year when they are about to graduate. Note that they failed in review subjects. 

Will these not boomerang to the kind of teachers that they have from first to fourth year? What about a fresh graduate, an unlicensed engineer, teaching review engineering subject? Does it not look like a reflection of the school?

I agree with Dean Greg Belongilot who said that the UC incident is not new as this happened also in other schools that there are only few who could graduate out of many students who enrolled. But that is not the whole story. The truth is such does not happen in the last semester before reaching the finishing line.

Modesty aside, I was a graduate of schools that also follow high standards. I had my share of hardship, too. For my B.S. DevCom I graduated from the Visayas State University (VSU) in Baybay, Leyte and for my law school I graduated from the University of San Carlos (USC) in Cebu City. 

There were many of us in the first year, but very few survived and finally graduated. But the decrease in number did not happen in one last semester before graduation. It happened starting from 1st year, 2nd year and 3rd year. 

In my experience, if you reach third year in our school, that means that you already learned many things. Hence, I believe that the same is true with UC. The fact that they reach fifth year, they must have learned something. Is UC saying that all the 34 (of the 40) well also well-trained by the school and by twist of fate collapsed at the last minute? Not funny!  

Those who cannot pass in an honest to goodness evaluation, I believe would avail the offer of Atty. Go. Maybe, some prefer to transfer to other schools, especially those who experience trauma already, which means it may be psychologically unhealthy on their part if they remain in the same environment. I just hope that UC will not give them a hard time in getting their necessary documents.  

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