Issue of March 22, 2020
     
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UPB delivers food, hygiene packs to stranded students
by Jane B. Cadalig

The University of the Philippines Baguio has started distributing food and basic hygiene and medical provisions for students and initiated measures to help them get back to their hometowns.

The university administration initiated the measures to help non-Baguio students who could not leave the city due to the enhanced community quarantine implemented Luzonwide to curtail spread of the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19).

UP Baguio Chancellor Raymundo Rovillos, through the university’s Facebook page, also assured the students that the administration is doing its best to help them get to their hometowns.

“We are trying our best (to) hire vans. Please secure permits and pool according to destinations. Yesterday, while some were able to get through, others were not because drivers worried they might be blocked along the way. Meanwhile, stay home. UPB shall provide your needs while you are in Baguio,” Rovillos said in his post on March 19.

Rovillos led members of the university’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management team, employees, and other volunteers in preparing the “care packs” distributed to the students.

As of March 20, UP Baguio distributed care packs to students at Hillside; Military Cut-off; Engineer’s Hill; Holy Ghost; Loakan; Tuba, Benguet; Marcos Highway; Bakakeng; Trancoville; Salud Mitra; Gen. Luna; Bonifacio; and Aurora Hill.

On March 19, the administration reached out to UP Baguio students in Cabinet Hill, Engineer’s Hill, and DPS Compound.

The UP Vice President for Academic Affairs, in a memorandum to all UP constituent universities, except the UP Open University, has also suspended the conduct of online classes and technology-supported learning activities in consideration to the students who have weak Internet connection who have no recourse but to go to the residences of their classmates with stronger connectivity.

“Asking students without access (to the Internet) to commute from their homes to work on assignments or attend online classes in their classmate’s house renders them vulnerable to the spread of the virus,” the memorandum stated.

“But apart from the issue of student access to technology, the UP system deemed it necessary to suspend online classes and alternative learning activities because of the high level of anxiety among students, faculty, and staff in light of this unprecedented health emergency. The expanded community quarantine further brought basic survival needs to the fore of everyone’s consciousness, temporarily making academic concerns secondary – at least in its initial implementation,” the memo added.

Schools and universities in Luzon have resorted to holding online classes as a result of the class suspensions in view of the community quarantine implemented to curb the spread of the Covid-19.


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