Hackers attack BU’s website over new online learning rule

LEGAZPI CITY --- Unidentified hackers attacked and rendered inaccessible the website of the Bicol University (BU) on Monday, Apr. 27 as a sign of protest over the university’s new policy of online teaching and learning or distance education strategies.

The new policy contained in Administrative Order (AO) No. 91 issued by Arnulfo Mascarinas, BU president, ordered the resumption of classes starting May 2 through remote teaching and learning or distance education.

The unidentified cyber attackers posted a statement on the BU website that said: “the administrative order No.91 is the most notorious act ever witnessed in the history of the excellence of Bicol University. Likewise the presented strategies only favor the privileged. Not all are privileged. We ask for revision of the said admin order for the betterment of Buenos.”

Mascarinas said the decision of the university was based on Commision on Higher Education (CHED) Covid-19 Advisory No.6 dated Apr. 13, 2020, authorizing the institution to extend the current semester for a maximum of one month after lifting of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to enable the students and faculty to catch up lessons missed because of Covid-19.

Prior to the hacking incident, the University Student Council (USC) issued a position paper in support of the call to end the semester and mass promotion of students. The call was based on the result of a survey conducted by the group, which proved that the present situation under ECQ is not suitable for students to meet school requirements.

In support of the USC, Bicol Universitarian, the official publication of the university released a statement that said “The Bicol Universitarian understands the vision of the university in promoting world-class and quality education, we also believe that in this trying times, it is also important to show compassion and humanitarian consideration to the students.”

Many students also resorted to Facebook in expressing their outrage and protests over AO 91

Mascarinas, in a radio interview aired over Veritas Legazpi said “there was a confusion because after they read the resumption of classes even that about remote learning, the students and other sectors reacted at once and didn’t read between the lines. The faculty members should give students all opportunities to pass.” As of Apr. 28, the BU has not issued any statement over the hacking incident.

The latest cyber attack of the BU website is the second time it was hacked. The first time was in November 2016.