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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: 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: 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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#TalkOnTW: Students react to President Duterte’s recent media address

“Lethal force is not the answer neither is striking fear to the people. There are better ways but for some odd reason you fail to see even one. You basically condemned the Filipino people to their deaths at the hands of your soldiers and the virus.”

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Photo courtesy of Interaksyon

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

It’s almost two and a half weeks since President Rodrigo Roa Duterte imposed a quarantine on the National Capital Region following the entirety of Luzon. Ever since then, citizens were restricted from going outside their homes, giving only a few to go out to buy necessities to get by the following days. The enhanced community quarantine came along with numerous checkpoints and military personnel to instill discipline to the communities they were deployed to. Despite the enhanced community quarantine, the country’s frontliners – the doctors, nurses, store attendants, and journalists – continue to pave the way despite the struggles in the country today.

Ever since the Bayanihan to Heal Act as One Act (RA 11469) was signed by President Duterte, the country was placed under a state of emergency for three months unless extended. In this law, the president was granted to distribute P5,000 to P8,000 pesos in cash aid to low-income families, a special risk allowance to health workers, and to allow the president “to exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a declared national policy”, and more.

Last night at 9:43PM, the president addressed the nation once more to reiterate the threats faced by the country today. With this, TomasinoWeb initiated a discussion that asks the peoples’ thoughts on his most recent media address.

One of the main highlights of the president’s media address was the threats that were posed towards the left. Many were angered towards his threats by ordering authorities to detain those who cause chaos and riots. Moreover, his address was observed to contain intimidation and fear towards the common people. Twitter users @tljdwln, @MigeruTagaki, @angelwithaliner, and @jayzielkhim share their thoughts towards the threats of the president. 

Nagulat ka na kasi biglaang presscon, nagalit ka pa kasi puro pagbabanta at karahasan yung lumalabas sa bibig nya”

The country is already in a pandemic then you would just say you will kill people who wouldn’t cooperate? Heartless and disgusting attitude. They are the less fortunate that is why they are like this. We should be helping them not killing them or arresting them…”

Kung gusto niyang mabigyan tayo ng reassurance, give factual reports. Saan napupunta ang budget, pwede na ba ang mass testing, ano na ang nangyari sa donasyon, atbp. Hindi natin kailangan ng ‘urgent’ press con kung pagbabanta lang pala ang sasabihin.”

kapag sa patayan napakabilis gumalaw ng gobyernong ‘to pero kapag pangangailangan ng mamamayan ayan naghuhulaan pa kung anong dapat gawin”

In his 12-minute speech, President Rodrigo Duterte failed to address what the people have been waiting for – updates and actions to be done in light of the pandemic. Twitter user @d_dddana mentioned that his speech instead contained reprimands without offering solutions towards the problem on-hand. 

“Nagulat ka na kasi biglaang presscon, nagalit ka pa kasi puro pagbabanta at karahasan yung lumalabas sa bibig nya”

Additionally, Twitter user @yopokkiseu mentioned that none of the press conferences actually served its purpose to brief and address the problems faced by the country in light of the pandemic.

“None the presscons showed any hint of handling the contagion with coordinated efforts to address the problems wt food security, public, mobility, jobs, medical services among the poorest, and to the concern of all, mass testing and lack of PPEs and funding for frontliners”

This is not the first time that the public has voiced out their opinions regarding the president’s leadership in this state of emergency. Twitter users @tipsyd_ei and @jolofernando have pointed out his incompetence and the use of threats as a compensation to show his power and might.

His words are loud and threatening but they contain empty concrete plans for the pandemic. He is simply INCOMPETENT. He can NEVER silence the people.#OUSTDUTERTENOW

This isnt about the pandemic anymore hes trying to silence the people from protesting his incompetent governance”

President Duterte’s leadership performance was also highlighted by netizens, expressing their frustration towards his neglect and his response to the struggles the country is facing today. For Twitter user @Barsieee, he said that the president does not care about his people especially the frontliners as evident with the blatant verbal harassment of those who are unsatisfied with his rule.

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