Professor’s FB post on ‘grade conscious’ UP students ignites controversy


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The University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City recently revealed that one of their summa cum laude graduates this year — BS Biology student Tiffany Uy — got a general weighted average (GWA) of 1.004. Uy’s GWA was tagged as the “highest general weighted average (GWA) in UP since World War II.”

READ: UP Biology student sets new post-war grade record Uy joins 28 other summa cum laude graduates in this year’s batch of UP

Uy joins 28 other summa cum laude graduates in this year’s batch of UP Diliman graduates. This high number is part of a so-called “grade  inflation” trend that was discussed in an Inquirer.net article, “Latin honors in bulk.”

In the Inquirer.net article, it was noted: “Since 1949, when the University of the Philippines (UP)  moved to Diliman, Quezon City, until 1984, the university’s summa cum laude (SCL) graduates on its main campus numbered in single digits.” However, as the report pointed out, there have been more and more summa cum laudes as the years progressed.

The article went on to cite some faculty members who revealed that grade inflation was a complex matter. It is this matter that, most likely, prompted a UP professor named Gerardo Lanuza to write a Facebook post, which was made available to the public, pertaining to the matter:
 

 
[LANUZA’S POST] Hindi dahil naka uno (1.0) ka sa lahat halos ng klase mo sa UP Diliman ay “matalino” ka na! Ang ibig sabihin lang nyan ay: masipag kang gumawa ng reaction papers kahit di required, mabait ka sa klase, di mo inaway ang teachers mo, di ka sumama sa walkouts laban sa TOFI kayawala kang absences, pati diarrhea mo ng isang araw ginawan mo pa ng medical certificate para ma-excuse ka, nabili mo lahat ng requirements at  books at matyaga kang nagpaxerox. Now, tell me: by doing those things made you intelligent? Not necessarily. Intelligence means what you do when everything that you know become useless! In short, you’re a worthy puppy of your parents! Pagawa ka na ng tarp sa harap ng bahay nyo para complete na! But when I see that tarp, I have to ask: “FOR WHAT AND FOR WHOM ARE YOU DOING THOSE THINGS FOR?”

 

[TRANSLATION] Just because you got a 1.0 grade in almost all your classes at UP Diliman, it doesn’t mean you’re already “intelligent”! All that means is this: You write reaction papers even when they’re not required, you are pleasant in class, you don’t antagonize your teachers, you didn’t join walkouts to protest against ) tuition and other fee increases (ToFI) so you have no absences, when you had diarrhea you got a medical certificate to be excused, you got all the books required for class, and you patiently had the required readings photocopied. Now, tell me: by doing those things made you intelligent? Not necessarily. Intelligence means what you do when everything that you know become useless! In short, you’re a worthy puppy of your parents! Have a tarpaulin printed announcing your achievement so theexperience is complete! But when I see that tarp, I have to ask: “FOR WHAT AND FOR WHOM ARE YOU DOING THOSE THINGS FOR?”

Needless to say, Lanuza’s comment got mixed reactions. There were those who agreed with him, saying that grades should not be the end-all and be-all of a UP education.

There were also manny comments who slammed Lanuza for having “crab mentality,” as his statement was interpreted as a potshot against Uy and other graduates with honors.

Lanuza has said that he wasn’t referring to anyone in particular with his Facebook post. In fact, it should be noted that the topic is one that Lanuza has long been passionate about.

In 2011, Lanuza had written an opinion piece for the Philippine Daily Inquirer entitled, “The ‘invisible religion’ of the grade-conscious.

In the said piece, Lanuza had pointed out: “Like any religion, being grade-conscious has its doctrine: Grades are objective, and a teacher’s personality does not count for she is just an instrument for dispensing the sacrament of grades (Catholic doctrine of ex opere operato). It has also its myths: Grades are the ticket to success, grades define one being, and they predict one’s income later.”

As of early Sat, Jun 27, Lanuza’s now-controversial Facebook has gotten 1,581 likes, 497 comments, and 1,21 shares. Lanuza has explained in a follow-up post that his statement was not directed at anybody in particular.

Photo: WikiCommons

 

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