UP Diliman faculty to vote on calendar shift
MANILA, Philippines – Professors and students of the University of the Philippines’ Diliman campus refuse to join the system-wide academic calendar shift. They want to keep their June to March calendar.
Jee Geronimo reports.
This is the Diliman Republic.
As the debate over the shift in the academic calendar heats up...
the voice of dissent grows.
While most major universities and the entire UP system are starting classes in August instead of July.
The UP system’s flagship unit refuses to budge.
Professors claim there was a glitch in the decision-making process.
RAMON GUILLERMO, UP DILIMAN SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: Yun nga yung mali sa proseso sa aming palagay. Kailangan kasi nagkaroon muna ng system-wide forum para naipasok ang lahat ng researches. Kasi yung ating mga espesyalista at faculty naman, di lang galing sa Diliman yan. May mga taga-Mindanao, may mga UPLB -- ang daming specialization. Ang dami sanang naipasok dun sa diskusyon.
(There was something wrong with the process. There should have been a system-wide forum to take into account all researches, because our specialists and faculty are not only from Diliman. There those from Mindanao, UPLB, other specializations. There could have been more inputs to the discussion.)
The teachers say there's no evidence the shift matters in becoming globally competitive.
The University of the Philippines has fallen behind its international counterparts over the decades.
From 348th in 2012, it is now 380th in world rankings
The faculty argue, almost half of the university’s partners open classes between February and March, not August or September.
EDUARDO TADEM, UP ASIAN CENTER: There is a certain deception that is taking place. None of us are against internationalization per se, none of us are against calendar shift per se, but to connect the two is, for me, a major deception on the part of the UP administration, and that is totally unacceptable for an academic community
They also fear extreme weather conditions in the coming years will just make life harder for students.
GERRY LANUZA, COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY: Hinahamon po sana namin, hindi lang hinahamon, inaanyayahan namin ang mga administrador na masyadong matalino para magpropose ng mga ganito. Na sila ay nakabarong, naka-Amerikana, na naka-coat pa, na bumaba sa kanilang mga opisina na may 2 horsepower na aircondition, at magturo sa summer, full load, ng 12 units, sa 3rd floor or 4th floor na wala pong ventilation at may mga bentilador at ceiling fan ngunit mas mabilis pa ang ikot ng kamay ko dun sa betilador, at kung may electric fan man, ito ay dekorasyon lamang.
(We are challenging, not just challenging but also inviting our administrators that are too smart to propose this. Our administrators wearing barongs, coat and tie, we ask them to go out of their offices equipped with 2 horsepower air conditioners and teach during summer, full load of 12 units, at the 3rd or 4th floor where there's no ventilation and with ceiling fans that barely work and electrics fans that do not work at all.)
Student leaders also oppose the shift.
They say increase scholarships first.
UP Diliman has done what it does best -- debate.
How will they break the impasse?
A 3-day faculty referendum will decide the stand of the Diliman faculty.
Shrinking prestige, shrinking budgets and a deteriorating quality of education.
These are just some of the festering issues UP faces.
After a decision is reached, will the once premiere university in Asia move on to solving its real problems?
Jee Geronimo, Rappler, Manila