Private schools cancel online classes as PLDT sets 5-day maintenance

Sep. 25, 2020

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Private schools in Davao City opted to suspend or lessen online classes as PLDT and Smart announced a five-day emergency maintenance from September 25-30 that will slow down the internet connection.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone announced earlier this week of a five-day emergency maintenance activities of the Asia-America Gateway (AAG) submarine cable system starting on Friday and assured that internet services will continue and may at times suffer a slowdown.

But schools opted to call off their classes. This was perhaps in reaction to what happened last Monday when the internet connection was disrupted in parts of Mindanao when a fiber optic transmission line was cut in Agusan del Sur and Bukidnon caused by construction work.

The University of Mindanao (UM) announced Friday morning that it will suspend synchronous classes, exams, and submission of assignments “in order for [the] faculty and students not to suffer from this inconvenience.”

The Senior High School unit of the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) announced on Thursday that students will have their “Independent Learning Time” wherein they will accomplish assignments given by their teachers.

The Assumption College of Davao (ACD) also issued a similar order, saying that only asynchronous classes shall be pushed through.

But two major universities, Ateneo de Davao and the University of the Philippines Mindanao have not made announcements as of press time. But their student leaders have made appeals calling for a suspension of online learning for that period.

The Ateneans for Good Governance, Innovation, Leadership and Service (Agilas), a student socio-political organization in ADDU, made an online petition calling on the administration to “understand that this petition is for the common good, especially for those students and faculty who have difficulties with their internet connections.”

The student council of the UP Mindanao also made an appeal to suspend the synchronous classes. “Since last week, the USC UP Min through the help of local councils have been receiving concerns in the internet connectivity of the students hence leading to difficulties for online learning,” USC UP Chair Rey Mart Lapina said in a letter sent to Chancellor Larry Digal on Friday.

“As we continue to adapt to online learning, we would like to manifest our sentiments of inclusive learning and accessible education for all. Hence, we are requesting your good office to postpone synchronous learning for the following dates and extend deadlines for the students to comply with the requirements,” their letter reads. (

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