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#SONA2020: Netizens react to this year’s state of the nation address

“A waste! Sayang oras ko. Sayang oras ng bansa sa kanya.”

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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect that of TomasinoWeb, its members, its officers, and the University.

Every year, the president is tasked to deliver a speech at the Batasang Pambansa Complex to address the country on its whereabouts and the government’s plans for it in the near future. Despite the ravaging situation of the Philippines due to the pandemic, President Rodrigo Duterte insisted not breaking tradition to speak at the hall with few guests from the government and the administration itself. The president spoke about numerous topics. A few to mention are human rights, COVID-19, child labor, ABS-CBN, and the Build, Build, Build Program. While the president is expected to talk about his administration’s achievements from the past year, he failed to disclose this important part in this address yesterday to which where he promised to release a printed report of it soon.

Duterte’s speech yesterday received backlash because of the lack of substantive resolutions and updates to reassure the Philippines of its state and how the administration will lead the country in the following years to come. 

As of July 26, the Philippines has 83,000 known confirmed cases with 1,1974 deaths and 26,617 recoveries.

Yesterday, TomasinoWeb asked Thomasian netizens on their thoughts about this year’s State of the Nation Address. 

“NO THOUGHTS, JUST PURE RAGE & DISGUST”

“INSENSIBLE to the true state of our nation!
#TalkOnTW

“no concrete plans again. we shouldn’t call it SONA because of the fact it is his state of his own damn ego and for self serving interest only + impunity and authoritarianism.
he should resign or the masses shall overthrow him and his government???
#WAKASONA2020
#SONAgkaisa2020

“yet another show of incompetency from our dear president.”

“A waste! Sayang oras ko. Sayang oras ng bansa sa kanya.”

“IS THIS SONA OR YOUR ELECTION CAMPAIGN FOR YOUR ALLIES???!!!
GAHD!!!”

While Duterte’s address failed to properly address the pressing issues in the Philippines, one must never forget to hold its officials accountable for their performance in handling the pandemic and among issues that coexist with it. Filipinos need and will continuously demand concrete plans, actions, and leadership from those who govern their country. The fight from the pandemic, human rights, and all other issues the country faces will continue until they get to what they are promised and what they truly deserve.

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#TalkOnTW: Students decide if they will enroll for an online term

“The world is in literal shambles right now and yet students are still academically pressured by their schools to function and adapt to this ‘new normal’.”

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The Office of the Rector recently released a memorandum announcing that the first term of AY 2020-2021 will be facilitated through “online and offline learning strategies”. The discussion of enrollment for the upcoming academic year has been a buzz among students, most especially because of the decision of the University to push forward with the Institutional Community Plan despite the contentions of those who belong in the Thomasian community. 

The topic of enrollment has been quite a topic among students not only within the University but also from those who belong in other academic institutions. While developing online-learning strategies has been the goal of the University, it is difficult to ignore that online learning does not serve all students that well. This issue does not only encompass the availability of a steady internet connection and a ready device to do work that we need to accomplish. It also adds the fact that not all students will be able to continue their education because of different reasons such as: financial status, health, and the lack of an optimal work environment from home.

With this, we asked students through the recent #TalkOnTW if they will still enroll for AY 2020-2021.

Twitter user @Strangel101 shared her initial thoughts on the “pressure” of academic institutions to adapt with the “new normal”.

The world is in literal shambles right now and yet students are still academically pressured by their schools to function and adapt to this ‘new normal’ 

Nakakalungkot na ang daming mapipilitang magLOA just because they were financially/physically/psychologically affected”

With the struggles that students and their families face in the pandemic, many are stuck with the dilemma if they should continue with AY 2020-2021. Twitter users @olyver_ly and @marcavalmoriaa shared propositions on the pressure in enrolling for  the upcoming academic year. 

“there are 2 options: (a) mag-eenroll but we cant have a quality education. (b) dont enroll and there’s academic/peer pressure.

we hate the fact that we are all victims of this ccf education system.”

Pag nag enroll wala nanaman matututunan, pag di nag enroll hassle yung process pag gap year”

On the other hand, some students such as Twitter user @dulce_pomme decided not to enroll for the next academic year but as pronounced of feelings of guilt because of the lengthy journey to reach an important milestone.

my dad told me na wag na lang pero kasi, as first batch na rin ng k12, feeling ko sobrang natagalan na ako sa pag aaral tapos panganay pa ako?? so the guilt na walang maipagmalaki parents ko :(“

Meanwhile, students are given unduly pressure from their families and their peers if they should enroll because of the fear of getting “left behind”. Twitter users @jxntxp, @fyabby, @gjcco, and @asi1892 share their experiences.

My family wants me to enroll despite explaining that I have 3 laboratory subjects that will be difficult to learn online.

The only thing they said was “Hindi ka pwedeng madelay.””

di talaga effective sakin online classes pero natatakot naman akong maiwanan ng batchmates ko :////”

my parents and i think that i shouldnt enroll cuz of health reasons, lack of funds and resources, and the many problems of distance learning… but u kno they also have this fear of me getting delayed #TalkOnTW

I am still weighing the pros and cons of enrolling for online classes. I don’t want to waste my parents’ money if I can’t guarantee the quality education. :<”

Twitter user @YouRONElyONE shared his thoughts on the learning environment for law students in light of this pandemic. 

“An Online Term for Law School is not conducive for learning…

Many of us law students experienced a waste of a good semester with online activities given for compliance sake, not for learning at all.

If this keeps up, damn the Bar exams would be at high stakes.

#TalkOnTW

Enrolling for an online term is still a pressing issue despite the efforts of the University administration to get the Thomasian community aboard in online learning. Students have reiterated over time again and again that there are issues to be fixed that obviously go beyond a steady internet connection and stable devices. An online term is a challenge not only the University will face but the Philippines’ education system as well.

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#TalkOnTW: Students share their thoughts on online classes

“Wala akong natututunan. Fortunate ako nang kahit paano. Nakikisama internet namin at mga devices na ginagamit ko. Nagpapasa ako ng output kasi required, di dahil natututo ako.”

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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect that of TomasinoWeb, its members, its officers, and the University.

It’s been more than a month since the last time Thomasians were on the campus. Many were surprised over the week-long suspension of classes and office work. In its first glance, it could be seen as a week for relaxation instead of an impending drastic change in our daily lives. With the enhanced community quarantine, many are stuck in their homes as they wait for time to pass by. 

Some universities in Metro Manila such as the Ateneo de Manila University have shortened their semesters to conclude the academic year in light of the pandemic.

While some universities have decided to shorten the academic year, the University’s administration has decided to push forward with the second term through online learning as mentioned in its Institutional Continuity Plan. This decision received backlash from the Thomasian community because of the varied reasons from limited internet access, ineffective learning, to the lack of resources to finish academic requirements. 

Yesterday, we asked Thomasian netizens in the recent #TalkOnTW on their learning experiences and areas that need improvement in online classes. Twitter users @strezztab_, @_leeseril, @_euniem, @wweeiiin, and @wyaaaan14 share their thoughts on how online classes are only conducted for the ‘sake of compliance’. 

“not effective at all. students are sent lots of “learning materials” but are not actually learning. we’re merely complying to the requirements just to pass and that’s the sad truth.”

It’s just a matter of compliance now more than anything else.

I rest my case.”

feels like we r just complying with reqs for the sake of grades. i hope learning materials will be given soon and summative tasks will be discussed din and sana feasible + more coordination with profs and yun us2 q lang naman matuto :(((“

we aren’t learning anything. it’s now only a matter of complying and meeting deadlines if you can.

the fact that nearly all the retweets are like this should tell you that something isn’t right.”

“Wala akong natututunan. Fortunate akong kahit paano nakikisama internet namin at mga devices na ginagamit ko. Nagpapasa ako ng output kasi required, di dahil natututo ako. 

Di rin pala fit yung environment para makapag-aral ako nang payapa at maayos.”

Students are not the only ones who are struggling but their professors as well. Twitter user @great_fayerhaps mentioned that some of her professors ‘aren’t equipped for online classes’. Twitter user @gjcco shares the same sentiment on the delay of their classes because the learning materials provided by their professor were not presently available. 

some professors aren’t equipped for online classes too, so i guess #MassPromotionNow

prof couldnt retrieve his teaching items from his condo due to lockdown so lessons were heavily impeded and rlly wasnt conducive”

Additionally, Twitter user @muybiennn worries about the pace of one of his classes because he is unsure if the UST Cloud Campus would be properly utilized by their professor. 

hindi ata marunong gumamit ng blackboard theory prof namin huhu pls we’re so left behind :(( #MassPromotionNow

Professors are not the only ones who find difficulty in using Blackboard. This also includes students who encounter problems not only on the website but also on its mobile app. It is often visited in class hours which could contribute to the delay given the heavy traffic it receives. Twitter users @Ernest0249, @aichiiimae, and @carlrreon share their experiences. 

more than 10 mins po para lang buksan isang ppt jusq idk pero may problem ata tlaga cloud campus ksi oks naman device at connection ko….ilang beses ba nmin kailangan sabihin na di effective online classes?naglolokohan lang eh bigay reqs tapos exams na asan quality educ dun?”

EdTech should try to improve the Blackboard app for students using their mobile phones. The app only shows one material (ppt) at a time so the chats from the instructor does not stay. Quite inconvenient for students who has professors who are chatting their lessons.”

Bboard has been really slow. I can’t stream or download a video lecture without it timing out halfway through for a big. With a small file that takes seconds normally, takes 10 minutes max.

It’s not on my net, been stable all day long with Coursera and YouTube

#TalkOnTW

Some students like Twitter user @Ansayxx missed the chance to attend her online classes because of the delay.

Super bagal ng internet to the point na ayaw mag load ng bboard ko and hindi ako naka attend ng class”

While some were concerned about Blackboard, Twitter users @CityofYvette and @_RndmGuy_ shared their thoughts on the stack of deadlines they have on their plate.

walang “class” na naganap, tumaas lang anxiety ko dahil puro deadline ang nakita ko buong araw”

Ito ppt, ito requirements ninyo, ito deadline ninyo good luck”

While technology paves a way to make the possible impossible, we must keep in mind that not everybody is able to catch up immediately considering the struggles that each of us faces. Thomasians have spoken about their concerns especially on limited internet access, mental health issues, and the inconducive learning environment in their homes. This should already be an indicator that online classes won’t be able to serve students rightfully for many will be left behind. We must keep in mind to preserve the spirit and importance quality education. However, is it preserved well? That’s something the University should answer. 

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#TalkOnTW: Netizens react on the administration’s efficiency in handling COVID-19

“They had the chance to prevent the crisis from escalating further but no, their priority is misplaced somewhere else and not with their constituents. No would be an understatement.”

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Photo courtesy of The Summit Express

Netizens are on another level of frustration upon hearing President Duterte’s nation address last Monday, April 6, 2020. 

It has been two weeks since the Congress granted the President with temporary emergency powers to manage the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in the Philippines. Everyone was expecting that in the president’s second weekly report, he would clarify not only the details regarding the distribution of the emergency cash aid to low-income families, but also some other steps on handling the crisis. The productivity of his plans, however, was questioned by the people who actually took time to listen and exhaust the information from his usual tirade-filled speech. 

On the same night, TomasinoWeb’s #TalkOnTW series launched an online discussion on the efficiency of the administration’s health crisis master plan. Here are a few of the noteworthy opinions of Twitter netizens: 

“I don’t think so. Pag sinabi kasing efficiently something that is with competence eh. Pero ayun wala pa ring concrete plans. Sobrang scattered lahat. Maybe they’re trying pero hanggang kelan na ganito??” 

“Absolutely not. The most important questions have never been answered until now. Where’s the gov’t aid? What happened sa P276B? Why is everything delayed? Para saan pa yung extension ng ECQ kung hindi rin naman naha-handle nang mabuti yung sitwasyon.”

“They had the chance to prevent the crisis from escalating further but no their priority is misplaced somewhere else and not with their constituents. No would be an understatement.”

“obviously not, ilang address na ba ang binigay nya na halos wala tayong mapigang sagot mula sa kanya? pahirapan lahat. tapos ano? sa dulo, tayo ang kawawa. health crisis ang issue, bakit taliwas doon ang kanyang pinagsasabi. tama ba yun.” 

“This could’ve been prevented in the first place if they have banned China travelers. No. There is no sense of urgency for the Filipinos who need it the most.”

“To be honest, “no” is an understatement. This administration is consistent on one thing and one thing only: incompetence.”

Even with the passage of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act or the RA 11469, the essence of “bayanihan” can hardly be seen within the people governing the country. With the increasing number of COVID-related cases and deaths, some still had the time to consider this pandemic as a “competition.” Twitter user @timothy_casuga sees the need for unity during this crisis: 

“Absolutely not, if the government is working together, combined forces, instead of wars and [political] issues, we would move on with this health crisis, if not solved, more people would be affected. We need unity, not the issues rising from every person from the government.” 

The newest strain of the coronavirus has forced our citizens to face the fear of the unknown and to open questions about what will kill them first: the virus, the hunger, or the mismanagement of the government in combating the pandemic. Frankly, no one was ever ready to face this health crisis, but the lack of concrete plans of the government has once again questioned the capability and competence of our leaders. 

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