“IF I GO back in time, I would file a formal complaint. But what else could I do back then when our teacher submitted our grades this second semester?” Ric (not his real name), a mass communication student, said.
Ric believes that his time and effort was wasted on one of his subjects last semester. He also claimed in an interview that his grade was not just submitted late; he believes it was a grade he did not deserve.
“I don’t understand the grading system in Silliman. There are students who do not attend class and get low grades on quizzes and assignments but still get final grades above 3.0. But those who work hard and attend classes only get around 2.0 grades,” he added.
Ric is one of the Sillimanians who had difficulties in enrolling last second semester due to late submission of grades, especially on subjects that have prerequisites.
Rose (not her real name), a student from the Institute of Rehabilitative Sciences, already paid her tuition on time before arranging her schedule in their department. However, she was not able to enroll on a basic communication (BC) 25 subject on time because she did not have a grade on its prerequisite subject during enrolment period.
“The class for the BC 25 section I planned on enrolling myself into already started, but I still do not have my BC 12 grade, so I went to the English department. I was surprised that there were a lot of people. It turns out that we all have the same problem,” she said.
Rose added that she was “disappointed because the section she wanted to be in was almost full.”
“We are paying our tuition fees punctually, and if we do it late, we get fines. I hope that the fines for Silliman faculty members for late submission of grades will be strictly implemented, too,” Rose said.
According to Rose, while she was enrolling for summer class last year, she had all her grades except one subject. The BC 25 class she can take based on her schedule got full after her BC 12 professor gave her final grade, so she was forced to take another subject.
According to the Silliman University (SU) Student Manual, Php 5 will be deducted from the pay of professors who failed to submit grades on time per day of delay. It is also stated that all deans and directors should enforce these rules strictly.
Professors are given five working days during the examination administrations to submit mid-term and final grades to the department chair or dean. Students are given three weeks upon submission of grades to question errors or concerns.
For non-graduating students, their grades must be submitted to the Registrar within 10 days from the examination dates. For the Graduate and Divinity School, professors are given 20 days, while the College of Law professors are given 30 days.
Abe Cadeliña, officer-in-charge of the Student Organizations and Activities Division, said that it is the students’ right to complain when late submission of grades happens. However, he has encountered students who do not push through with submitting grievance forms or formal letters on the matter.
“With SG, they have a grievance form. But for me, they have to write a formal letter of complaint. This is the time I’ll bring it up to the administration,” Cadeliña added.
He also said that there are teachers who have valid reasons for passing grades late.
“I encountered a group whose teacher was admitted to the hospital. She suggested them to go to their dean because they are the ones who can talk directly to their co-faculty members on their concerns,” Cadeliña said.
This matter was also raised last semester in one of the meetings with Silliman University President Ben S. Malayang III.
Ronelaine Picardal, a faculty member from the English department, said that handling many sections means more essays and research papers to check. Reading and grading essays and other texts also take time.
“Usually, we handle two to three BC 12 and BC 25 sections,” Picardal said.
Jonathan Te, vice president of Silliman University Faculty Association, clarified that the reason for late submission “might be because most of the faculty members are overloaded with subjects.”
“But even though they are overloaded they still dedicate a lot of their time to really focus in checking the papers,” said Te.
He also added that the exam papers had to be thoroughly checked before it will be submitted to the Office of the Registrar.
“The administration has the mechanism of ensuring that the grades are not submitted late, they have to be submitted on time,” Te said.
Cadeliña also mentioned that the Php 5 deduction may be considered by other professors as “too little,” and that “it would not hurt much if the teacher would pass the grades late.”
The teachers are still bound by the former faculty manual written years ago because the recent revised faculty manual is not yet out.
Even if Ric and Rose were not able to file a formal complaint, they still urged students to complain when grades are passed late or when received grades are unfair.
“You know you did your best and you put a lot of effort in a subject, then gi-daot ra nila imong transcript. I-submit baya nimo na ‘pag ga-hanap na ka ug trabaho,” Ric said.~
By: Andrea D. Lim, Paulynne Joyce R. dela Cruz and John Rey L. Villareal