The UP Office of the Student Regent is set to present the 10,000-strong online petition to the Board of Regents, the University’s highest policy-making body. (Photo: Gian Carlo Librojo, DZUP)

Almost 10,000 students of the University of the Philippines (UP) System have signed the online petition calling for the postponement of classes, UP Student Regent Isaac Punzalan confirmed Tuesday night, September 1.

“It’s about time the administration faces the reality: we are not yet ready. Even as the national university, we are still far from being ready, especially with the worsening health and economic crises that the national government is failing to resolve,” the petition stated.

“With our current state and the lack of adequate action from the national government, it is a must that we call for the postponement of the opening of classes in the university originally scheduled on 10 September 2020 until the requisites for the education we deserve are rightfully fulfilled,” it added.

The appeal would be presented to the UP Board of Regents in time for its 1353rd meeting on Wednesday, September 2.

More than 5,600 UP students are “in danger of not being able to continue their education” in a remote learning setup, the University disclosed.

Citing issues with the finalization of course packs, the UP Office of the Faculty Regent (OFR) has also recommended the postponement of class opening this September.

“Given the overwhelming difficulties in preparing these course packs which will be implemented next semester in a spirit of ‘trial and error,’ or ‘learning by doing,’ there is a need to give faculty more breathing space to successfully teach via remote learning,” OFR explained.

Last July, UP launched a fundraising campaign which particularly aims to assist its financially challenged students for their distance learning needs. Other initiatives and University policy changes were implemented to address concerns with the upcoming semester.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) earlier said that online training sessions for educators and consultations with administrators are regularly being conducted to enhance the capacities of higher education institutions amid the ongoing pandemic.

According to CHED, 45% of the country’s state universities and colleges are set to start classes in September.

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