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Ateneo de Naga University Statement on the CHED Press Release dated 12 August 2020

In a press release issued 12 August 2020 by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman, the Honorable Dr. J. Prospero E. De Vera III, the Ateneo de Naga University (AdNU) was one of seventeen Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) nationwide identified as having adopted a “pass all policy” during the second semester of school year 2019-2020. Chair De Vera reiterated that “students who are on merit scholarship and will need numeric grades will be severely affected by HEIs” that adopted such a “pass all policy,” since it would be impossible for CHED to assess the academic performance of these scholars. With regard to this press release, we in AdNU would like to make two brief clarifications:

1) AdNU did not adopt a “pass all policy” wherein the second semester would be terminated on account of the pandemic and all college students would be given a non-numeric grade. Rather, despite the opposition of a very vocal sector of the student body, we insisted on finishing the second semester through flexible and online learning. As an act of compassion, however, AdNU gave a “P” (pass grade) option for students who could not participate in flexible or online learning because of insurmountable problems (connectivity, computer/gadget availability, health concerns). Nevertheless, numeric grades were strongly recommended for all students, especially those fulfilling requirements for quota courses, board exam preparations, academic honors, and scholarship qualifications. Numeric grades were also required for crucial subjects such as Thesis Writing, Senior/Capstone Project, Nursing RLE, Practicum, On the Job Training, etc.

2) Towards the end of the second semester (May 2020) the AdNU College Admission and Aid Office (CAAO) reminded all scholars—and merit scholars specifically—that there was no definitive response yet from CHED RO V whether pass grades would be accepted for scholarship qualifications. Thus, these merit scholars were asked to avail of numeric grades from their professors to ensure their scholarship grants would not be jeopardized. Unfortunately, despite the clear reminders from our CAAO, 119 of the 146 CHED merit scholars in AdNU opted for a “P” grade in some, if not all of their subjects for the second semester. Twenty-seven (27) students, however, had numeric grades for all their subjects.

Our sincerest thanks to Chair De Vera and CHED for informing us in their press release that AdNU and other HEIs will be given until 30 September 2020 to provide numeric grades for the affected merit scholars.

Fortunately, because of AdNU’s insistence on the continuous conduct of classes until the end of the second semester and our initial provision of a numeric grade option, there will be an objective basis for numeric grades for most of these scholars. The Ateneo de Naga University takes this opportunity to affirm its commitment to sustaining higher education during this pandemic crisis and beyond. We also assure the public of our special and preferential care for our disadvantaged students, including our scholars. Once again, we are grateful to CHED for supporting our Ateneo mission, most especially during this 80th anniversary year of Jesuit education in Bicol.

Fr. Roberto E.N. Rivera, Sj President Ateneo de Naga University 14 August 2020

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