The Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) has embraced digital solutions as university officials map out policies for the coming semester, taking into account the "new normal" in light of the novel coronavirus disease or COVID-19 crisis.
With classes cancelled since early March and with the subsequent extension of the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila, PLM officials led by University President Emmanuel Leyco have been holding a series of meetings and planning sessions through video conferencing to decide on urgent matters concerning students, faculty, and staff.
To retain some sense of normalcy, PLM officials still observe a virtual flag-raising ceremony every Monday morning, attended by deans, school executives, and a sponsor college. One or two personnel who continue to report at the Intramuros campus stream the raising of the Philippine flag at the school grounds, while observing proper distancing rules and wearing face masks.
Last week, the PLM Board of Regents approved the decision of the University Council to give a passing mark to all students for the second semester of the Academic Year 2019-2020 to take into account the "extremely serious impact" of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, graduating students are still required to submit their thesis or dissertation requirements to earn their degree. Those who are unable to do so during this term will be given another year to fulfill these requirements.
Now, officials are focused on strategies for the next semester, particularly for the resumption of classes.
"Online delivery and blended learning systems will become the new norm among academic institutions worldwide when classes resume. PLM is now reconfiguring its learning delivery systems to include blended learning, where students may attend online classes which may be livestreamed and are accessible from their homes. The PLM administration is currently studying the logistics, especially how we can bring these virtual lectures even to students who may not have gadgets or stable internet connection at home," University President Emmanuel Leyco said.
Blended learning offers a balance between virtual and face-to-face classroom sessions, which is meant to reduce physical interactions without depriving opportunities for knowledge.
Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila offers tuition-free education to undergraduate students, pursuant to Republic Act 10931 or the "Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act."
The institution has produced graduates who have contributed to nation-building since 1965. For more information, visit www.plm.edu.ph #