During pandemic, student climbs a mountain to send class requirement

Franz Berdida, a civil engineering student from Mapua University, had to hike a small mountain in their hometown in the province of Masbate on Tuesday night, April 28, just to send a class requirement to her professor. 

Berdida told Rappler she and her brother had to walk for at least an hour just to get a stable internet connection. It was a 5-kilometer walk from their home. 

She, however, said they were never forced by their professor to send the class requirement immediately, but she sent hers anyway so she could move on and do other things.

"Sabi ng professor naman namin na we can send our activities anytime naman na convenient for us," Berdida said.

(Our professor, however, told us that we can always send our class activities anytime it was convenient for us.)

After her tweet went viral, the management of Mapua contacted her, asking how they could help.

"They contacted me. They were asking me how they can help, especially the Office of Student Affairs," Berdida said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Berdida said her intention for the tweet was not to put Mapua in a bad light, but to share her experience to other students. 

"Nagulat nga ako na nag-viral. Ang intention ko naman ay i-share lang sa ibang students ang experience ko dito sa amin," Berdida added. 

(I was shocked that it went viral. My only intention was to share my experience here in our province to other students.)

Berdida asked for her professors in Mapua to be more lenient with students as they struggle to cope with online classes due to many restrictions, such as connectivity and internet speed. (WATCH: Rappler Talk: Education in the time of coronavirus)

As the entire Luzon and other parts of the Philippines remain on lockdown, several schools opted to make up for lost time with online classes, following a Commission on Higher Education advisory that encouraged schools to use "available distance learning, e-learning, and other alternative modes of delivery in lieu of residential learning if they have the resources to do so."

Last March 25, students of the top schools in the country urged CHED to suspend online classes nationwide. (READ: Students of top 4 PH schools urge CHED to suspend online classes)

The students said that while they "understand the need for learning to continue, the different circumstances of students across universities are not ideal and conducive for such."

Commission on Higher Education Chairperson Prospero de Vera III earlier said higher education institutions were allowed to to adjust their approved academic calendars in view of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Rappler has reached out to the management of Mapua for comment, but they have yet to reply as of posting. – Rappler.com

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.

image