SEVERAL colleges and faculties have ordered a six-day break from online learning following the “emergency maintenance” announcement of a major telecommunications company.

The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) in an advisory dated Sept. 24, 2020 announced  it would be conducting emergency maintenance activities on the international trans-Pacific submarine cable system Asia-America Gateway from Sept. 26 to Sept. 30, 2020, which might slow down internet speeds during peak hours.

Following PLDT’s advisory, the Senior High School, College of Science, College of Architecture, College of Commerce and Business Administration, the Institute of Physical Education and Athletics and the Faculty of Arts and Letters announced an “academic break” from Sept. 25 to Sept. 30.

The Institute of Information and Computing Sciences, College of Fine Arts and Design, and Faculty of Engineering announced the suspension of both synchronous and asynchronous classes from Sept. 25 to Oct. 1.

The Faculty of Pharmacy imposed an academic pause dubbed as “Purple Heart Week” from Sept. 25  to Sept. 29. It also mandated that only asynchronous classes would be held from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1.

The College of Tourism and Hospitality Management declared a four-day  “tourism and hospitality wellness days.” The College of Nursing suspended synchronous classes from Sept. 26 to Sept. 30.

The Faculty of Medicine and Surgery also announced a week-long suspension of synchronous and asynchronous classes of core subjects for Learning-Enhanced Accelerated Program for Medicine students, dubbed the “academic ease,”  from Sept. 25 to Oct. 3.

First year to third year medicine students will proceed with synchronous classes but will have no summative assessments from Sept. 25 to Sept. 29. They will have a four-day academic break with both synchronous and asynchronous classes suspended from Oct. 5 to  Oct 9.

Central Student Council Public Relations Officer Jeric Sun applauded the idea and said it would be good for the Thomasian community to get a short break.

“The students deserve to rest, and hopefully this one week to relax and do things on their own time would help them recover mentally and physically [..]  professors must be put into consideration as well, knowing that they aren’t having an easy time either,” Sun told the Varistarian.

Sun urged colleges and faculties that have not suspended synchronous classes to consider the difficulties of online learning.

PLDT assured its customers it had adopted measures to mitigate the impact of the maintenance activity, such as traffic rerouting and local caching.

“Students can still do their online studies and exams, and users in homes and businesses can go about their normal internet-based activities during this time,” the telecom company stated in an advisory. 


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