Kristel Tejada, U.P. student number 2012

       I don’t know which of my students are paid or not paid – that’s because everybody who wants to take the class is enlisted on  a first-come-first-served basis regardless of whether they’re  paid or not,  or  to be more precise, on a first-online-preenlist -first-served basis. Their names appear on the official roll of enrolled students regardless of matriculating or not. When the semester starts, everybody who wants to pass, take the quizzes, exams, make their case presentations, work as a team in their group assignments. Grades are submitted online; the deadline is usually about two weeks or 18 days after the last day of classes. The faculty member clicks the “CRS” (computerized registration system), enters his/her password,  then clicks the “Instructor Dashboard”, then clicks each class roll to submit the grades. Sometimes,  every other semester, there’s a gap or two in the class roll where the function for grade submission for a student’s name is disabled, it has a red button with an X inside and when you look at the legend to find out why it is disabled, it says “Not Paid”.  But the student has a grade as far as my class record is concerned: he/she took all the exams and quizzes, made a case presentation, participated in the recitation, etc.. And because I’m an OC and want to submit all the grades of all people/ all students who worked, i always make a further inquiry with the admin staff; with an instruction to make sure the gap is filled (that that particular grade is submitted) as soon as the software allows it.

           In other words, there is no “No Late Payment” policy, at least as far as the classes we were handling were concerned, and as recent as last November (four months ago). Two minutes ago,  I double-checked with the department staff again,  and it was confirmed that we did not have/   do not have a “No Late Payment” policy. You pre-enlist/ enlist , you’re in the class; you submit the requirements, you have a grade;  you dazzle the faculty member, you get a grade of 1.0 – – regardless of financial circumstances.

             This however does not detract from the outdatedness of the numbers (income)  being used to determine the student bracket system, being based on 1989 minimum wage, poverty line and cost of living standards.  

            Many faculty members (including myself) are tough on students who perpetrate fraud or intellectual dishonesty, on students who maim the innocent in the guise of brotherhood, on students who bully their way in the parking lot or in the stairway by blocking everybody else’s passageway, on students  who do not take exams for no reason and expect special treatment, on students who do not prepare for their assigned work and feel they are entitled.

         But U.P. student Kristel Tejada (B.S. Behavioral Sciences, U.P. Manila),  the U.P. student who took her life two days after she was required to file a “Leave of Absence” because she was not going to be in the official roll brought about by the “No Late Payment” policy,   kept going to school and studying. Last Dec. 19 she filed an appeal, the admin staff turned her away, did not even receive her appeal, because “it was the last working day of the year”.  Government employees were too busy attending the Christmas party.

        She attended classes even if her status was “sit-in” this semester, being barred by the  “No Late Payment” policy. She studied for the course even if there was uncertainty that her name would be in the class roll. She read her assignments even if she knew she might not be allowed to remain.

     This  is the kind of student you would want to have in class, this  is  the kind of freshman, sophomore — future graduate you would want in your block. This is the kind of scholar, Iskolar ng Bayan, that is worth every centavo of the people’s money. She was good for it – — every peso.

     Anyone who has taught in U.P. would know that a student like her was a wise investment for the country.   

      To completely bar her, the admin and security even went to the extent of requiring her to surrender her U.P. student I.D.. This was two days from when she took her life.

       This is the first time I’ve ever heard of this being done to a U.P. student. Based on experience when i was in the legal department of U.P., not even criminally violent U.P. students found liable were ever stripped of their U.P. student I.D. Not even those who had been kicked out were ever asked to surrender their U.P.  student I.D.. To this day, you could graduate, or be dismissed from U.P., and your I.D. would not be confiscated.

      Stripped of her I.D. she could not even take a single step inside the gate of her campus.

      She was treated like she was going to steal equipment from the University.

      What the hell is that       

One thought on “Kristel Tejada, U.P. student number 2012

  1. I always tear up whenever I read an article or a blog post about her. UP failed her, the entire system failed her. What a tragedy!

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