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This (unofficial) university ranking possibly reveals the online class struggle

This (unofficial) university ranking possibly reveals the online class struggle
Gabbi Garcia and Khalil Ramos for Scout x Globe

Trigger warning: This article mentions suicide. 

You get it: No amount of online class-related TikToks can hide the fact that this school year isn’t for everyone. From inaccessible internet to blinding expenses, many young folks have been robbed of education during this pandemic—making it a privilege than a right more than ever. 

According to the Department of Education (DepEd), enrollment in kindergarten to senior high school went down to 25 percent this school year. The numbers alone are already alarming. However, we shouldn’t forget that students aren’t just figures.

To get a better grasp of what’s down with kids’ experiences these days, an organization called SPARK (Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan) conducted their own unofficial university ranking. But this isn’t for flag-raising and school pride—they hunted down what they deem the “worst” schools in terms of online classes.

This ranking is allegedly backed up by research regarding tuition fees, refunds, financial aids, student repression, poor treatment of teachers and staff, abusive school administration, absence of open dialogue and more. 

Based on SPARK, here are the top ten universities, with first being the “worst”

  1. De La Salle Health Medical and Health Sciences (DLSHSI)
  2. University of Santo Tomas (UST)
  3. Far Eastern University (FEU)
  4. Southville International Schools and Colleges
  5. Universidad de Manila (UDM)
  6. University of the East (UE)
  7. Cavite State University (CSU)
  8. University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center (UERMMC)
  9. Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP)
  10.  De La Salle University – Dasmarinas (DLSU-D)

Aside from finding out how universities treat online classes, it appears that the group also made efforts to reach out to the students themselves. What did they get? Personal and ultimately disturbing anecdotes. 

“May nagsuicide dahil sa struggles sa online classes,” the quote from DLSU-D says. One from DLSHSI bears the same narrative: “Someone committed suicide due to online academic pressure.”

Meanwhile, some anecdotes reek complaints about professors, the unfair demand for  stable internet connection and unreasonable workload imposed during online classes. 

We may not be able to determine the veracity of this report, let alone meet the supposed interviewees to countercheck their claims—but the comments section of this gallery is noisy enough.

Instead of denial, the thread of comments reflects “jokes” by different students, sarcastically asking why their university isn’t included in the list. However, some find the post offensive and not adding anything substantial to the conversation. The research may still be in question, but the factors involved could be something that schools should look into. 

As online classes take the front seat this AY, let’s not forget that students, teachers and the rest of the school staff are all suffering under one system.

Art by Jan Cardasto

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