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Thomasians fear excessive workload despite academic break

On Sept. 15, the University implemented a two-day academic break, halting all classes and deadlines. Yet, some students said it was barely enough to shake off the burden.

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On Sept. 15, the University implemented a two-day academic break, halting all classes and deadlines. Yet, some students said it was barely enough to shake off the burden.

Yesterday, Thomasians waited for announcements from their respective colleges to extend the deadlines of requirements and other assessments.

Some colleges declared “asynchronous days” and extended deadlines up to a certain date.

This might sound like a piece of good news, but for Kris, a third-year student from the Faculty of Arts and Letters, this will only add to the workload of students.

She said that extending the deadlines while increasing the workload makes the academic break pointless.

“[It] defeats the purpose kung pagbalik naman natin from the break, sasalubungin tayo ng sandamakmak na requirements that hasn’t been distributed through the semester,” she said.

On Sept. 20, the Faculty of Arts and Letters released a memorandum implementing asynchronous classes from Sept. 22 to Sept. 25 to “help lessen their [student’s] psychological stress,” which made them extend all required deadlines.

Some professors concurred with the idea of extending the deadlines. But for Mark Angeles, a professor from the Filipino Department, maybe a little extension of the break would be better since giving high stakes assessments are prohibited.

“I think it would be fair to extend the academic break for the rest of the week,” he said referring to the two-day academic break.

The Faculty of Arts and Letters seconded two days after the College of Fine Arts and Design (CFAD) implemented an asynchronous mode of instruction.

For Behavioral Science Society Vice-President Timothy Coronel, “asynchronous days” could be taken for granted, for it is a compromise between the students and administrators.

“This is far from a perfect solution to the issue at hand, but it’s still some form of a solution despite being flawed,” he said.

He emphasized that the “bigger solution” is implementing an “academic ease.”

“If this situation keeps looping around, nothing is going to change,” he said.

“Obviously, we are grateful for the consideration of our petition, but we hope for more focus on general ‘academic ease’ rather than these breaks,” he added.

Despite the initiative of some colleges to “ease” student work by implementing asynchronous classes, others pushed through with synchronous sessions. This caused students to clamor for an extension of the academic break, as they expected that their colleges would follow CFAD’s lead.

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For Denise, a third-year BS Psychology student, it would have been insensitive of her college to continue with synchronous sessions.

“I was kinda disappointed,” she said. “Parang ginawa lang completion days ‘yung academic break kasi may mga quizzes and presentation agad after.”

Just like Kris, she pressed on the piling of workloads that might cause a toll on the students.

“It is hard to keep up. Assessments are piling up at nag-cause din ng burn out sa students ‘yun kahit acad break kasi may paparating na naman na assessment,” she said.

Despite this, Denise still hoped for an academic ease by limiting the number of assessments given to them.

“Nagkaroon [dati] ng policy na 2–3 assessments na lang ang ibibigay. Medyo mahirap siyang decision, I know, kasi need minsan ng students makabawi ng grade if ever walang kukunan. Pero sana, maconsider ulit nila ‘yun,” she said referring to the modifications for all academic activities issued by the College of Science administration last April which limits the number of assessments to be given.

In the latest memorandum released by the College of Science, asynchronous classes were preferred, but professors were still given a choice of delivering their classes synchronously or asynchronously.

“What’s important right now is the welfare of the students, not the calendar. I understand that we need to follow the curriculum, but given this extraordinary time, the institution should reconsider it and accommodate the needs of the students,” she emphasized.

As of writing, the Office of the Secretary-General still has no response regarding the possibility of extending the academic break.

Ian Patrick Laqui
Reports Editor, Reports Writer | + posts

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Presidential elections and the Philippine stock market: An explainer

It is not a surprise for the Philippine stock market to move sideways after the partial and unofficial tally of the presidential election results shows Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. is leading over market-friendly Vice President Leni Robredo.

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Photos by Larizza Lucas/TomasinoWeb and Wance Paleri/Unsplash

The Philippines’ next president will have to deal with an embattled nation attempting to pull itself out of the pandemic and grave economic crisis.

It is bleeding red in the Philippines, as presidential aspirant Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr. leads the unofficial tally day and the country’s stock exchange index dips to -2.90-percent weekly average as of Tuesday, May 17. 

However, this was not surprising according to top economists and market analysts. For a week now, the global trend is consistent with this drop due to the tightening of US federal monetary policy, among others.

Elections are considered to be one of the major market drivers and the stock market, an indicator of confidence in government. Market jitters during these times are pretty much normal, consistent with past Philippine elections

This year’s high-stake election is different. Usually, investors look at the economic policy directions of candidates, as well as their track record, to assess government competency and market outlook for the years to come.

High government confidence would mean businesses investing in one’s country, which decidedly increases local job opportunities. As of March 2022, the Philippine unemployment rate is at 8.8-percent or 2.875 million unemployed Filipinos.

Zooming out long-term, economic recovery especially at the tail-end of the global health crisis has been the key focus of the current administration, committing to at least bring back the country’s growth to pre-pandemic levels.

For Japan-based global investment firm Nomura Holdings, the lack of Marcos, Jr’s “concrete” economic policies may get foreign investors on the defense, cautious about the Philippine economic crisis that happened after his father bankrupted the Central Bank.

“Marcos Jr., in our view, will likely be regarded as less market-friendly than Robredo, particularly when it comes to experience at the national level and in articulating a strategy for the country to recover from the pandemic,” the January 2022 report said.

Using the five-point categorization, economists of Nomura Global Research assessed presidential candidates on continuity/good governance, infrastructure progress, fiscal discipline, national experience, and business friendliness. 

The Robredo-Pangilinan tandem scored highest with 26 out of 30, while Marcos and his teammate Sara Duterte tallied the lowest mark with 14 out of 30.

The study further added: “Political uncertainty will also likely grow, considering Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s large poll lead over VP Leni Robredo. This will likely weigh on local market sentiment and presents a challenging environment for the Philippines’ net portfolio investment flows.”

A separate report from Bloomberg showed investors favoring a Robredo presidency, with Marcos Jr. at the bottom of the survey along with Sen. Manny Pacquiao.

28 analysts and investors were asked to give ratings to the presidentiables from 1 to 5 who they think will be the best economic leader of the country. Robredo scored 106 while Marcos landed second to the last with 46.

As of press time, the unofficial and partial count of the elections shows the son and namesake of the late dictator Marcos Sr. leading the national polls at more than 58-percent of the total votes. Robredo is trailing behind at 28-percent.

Paolo Alejandrino
Blogs Writer | + posts

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UST crisis management committee green lights F2F bacc mass and graduation rites

The in-person graduation ceremonies shall be for the Classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022 from the tertiary, post-baccalaureate, and graduate levels.

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(Photo by Gillian Robles/TomasinoWeb)

The University’s Crisis Management Committee approved the conduct of in-person graduation ceremonies, including Baccalaureate mass, a memorandum from the Office of the Secretary-General (OSG) said on Saturday, May 7.

The in-person graduation ceremonies shall be for the Classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022 from the tertiary, post-baccalaureate, and graduate levels.

Only the Class of 2022 will have in-person rites for Senior High School graduates.

Two Baccalaureate masses for the said batches will be held in June. 

According to the OSG, this year’s mass will be “solemn and austere” to express solidarity with the “plight of many people who are still recovering from the ill effects of the pandemic, Thus the traditional fireworks display at the conclusion of the mass will be scrapped this year. 

The solemn investiture shall be conducted starting June 6 either on the Quadricentennial Pavilion or the Medicine Auditorium, schedules may vary per college or faculty. 

Only two companions are allowed to be with each graduating student.

Local graduation committees shall conduct respective orientations for the said batches.

The University, however, shall “strictly abide” by the regulations of the Inter-Agency Task Force, should there be changes in the alert level status in the National Capital Region. 

Ian Patrick Laqui
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UST among top universities in 2022 SDG impact rankings

Among the Philippine universities, the University placed second in Gender Equality (SDG 5), while ranking third in Good Health and Well-being (SDG 3) and fourth in Quality Education (SDG 4).

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(Photo courtesy of Aliah Danseco/TomasinoWeb)

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this article mentioned that the University “slipped from its third local standing last year.” We sincerely apologize for this mistake. 

The University ranked sixth among Philippine universities implementing the United Nations’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to the data published by the Times Higher Education’s (THE) Impact Rankings 2022 on April 29, UST placed 601-800 in the global rankings and maintained its third spot in the Philippines. 

The University also improved in its overall score. From 47.6-56.5 in 2021, it now received an overall score of 57.3-64.9 in 2022.

Among the Philippine universities, the University placed second in Gender Equality (SDG 5), while ranking third in Good Health and Well-being (SDG 3) and fourth in Quality Education (SDG 4).

Ateneo De Manila University remains the top implementer of SDGs in the country, placing 101-200 in the global rankings – the highest ranking received by any Philippine university, as per the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd).

Globally, Western Sydney University led the overall ranking this year, while Universiti Sains Malaysia led the Asian overall ranking.

The THE Impact Rankings measured 1,406 universities from 106 different countries and regions. THE carefully calibrated indicators to provide a comprehensive and balanced comparison across four broad areas: research, stewardship, outreach, and teaching. 

Justine Xyrah Rennzel Garcia
Reports Writer | + posts

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