March 20, 2020
Dear NTC Community,
There is no doubt that we are in the midst of a major crisis. We are all experiencing many fears, anxieties and concerns, ranging from our loved ones’ health, to the economy and job prospects, to our country’s future.
There is also no doubt, however, that a crisis can bring out the best in us. A crisis can force us to focus on what is really most important in life, such as family, friends and community. A crisis can challenge us to be resourceful, to dig down deep and to find our inner grit. A crisis can help us to see how we can look beyond ourselves, to help others and to be our best possible selves.
Now is the time for us to all come together and beat COVID-19.
We shall first and foremost, continue our commitment to accessible quality education. Despite the many challenges now posed by COVID-19, NTC will persevere in its mission to Enable Access to Success. Our goal is to help our students be the best versions of themselves possible, while taking into account that each student has different circumstances, talents and aspirations.
While COVID-19 might slow us down, we will ensure that our students can continue to make genuine progress in their academic and career roadmaps. In doing so, we will factor in the widely varying situations our students are in: some have good Internet access, whereas some have very limited or perhaps non-existent Internet access, given the prohibition on leaving home; some are keen to study and progress during the lockdown, whereas others are too anxious to do so, or need to help their families.
We have designed the Enhanced Student Academic Engagement Arrangement (ESAEA) to provide maximum flexibility to our students, so that everyone will be given the chance to finish his/her academic requirements with ample teacher support and time, and to learn at his/her own pace. This will be true whether or not they have Internet access, and whether or not they would like to study at home.
For example, those who have no Internet access or need to focus on their families, can resume work when they return to school and participate in free extension classes; and those who have Internet access and want to progress their studies, can complete their work online, and then participate in free enrichment classes when they return, or else spend more time on extra-curriculars or part-time work.
Mindful of the provisions for relaxing academic policies at this time, our teachers will be as caring, helpful and flexible as possible, especially in terms of assigning requirements, deadlines and grades. Our goal is to give our students as many paths to success as possible, as we fully appreciated that our students have a wide range of circumstances.
I wanted to say a very big thank you to our Academic Council and Faculty who have worked so hard to design and implement a very flexible ESAEA in such a short period of time. I also wanted to thank the Student Government and the many students who have provided constructive comments and suggestions on how to improve ESAEA. Designing a system that provides a lot of choice for a very diverse student population is complex, and will require constant tweaking and improving, but I believe we can get it right if we continue to dialogue regularly and candidly on what is working and what is not.
I also summarize below our other institutional initiatives in our fight to beat COVID-19:
Safety: We have closed the school until April 14, and our skeletal team is securing and regularly sanitizing our premises.
Educating the Community: We call on everyone to strictly follow the Enhanced Community Quarantine guidelines enacted by the government. We also call on you to educate your families and friends on how serious a crisis this is, and how important it is for everyone to stay at home, practice social distancing and do his/her part to slow down the spread of the virus and flatten the curve. Please help your community and circulate our Public Service Advisory on “What You Need to Know About COVID-19” by sharing this link https://ntc.edu.ph/covid-19-community-updates/.
Free Telehealth Plan: In order to provide everyone with access to good medical advice and service during this crisis, we are enrolling all students and employees in a Free Telehealth Plan with KonsultaMD, a subsidiary of Globe Telecom, that will provide 24×7 access by phone to a licensed doctor, for unlimited consultations on any medical issues. The Free Telehealth Plan will also include free membership and discounted rates at FamilyDoc, AC Health’s chain of 75 primary clinics around Metro Manila. The Free Telehealth Plan will cover a 90 day period, effective after the processing period, and will be without charge. This shall be in place by next week. Please click www.ntc.edu.ph/konsultamd for more information.
Extension of Payment Due Dates: Because of the lockdown, any payments due before April 14 can be paid 30 days after they are due.
Employee Salaries: In order to help our teachers and non-teaching staff weather the storm, the school will be releasing the payroll for the second half of the month tomorrow, Saturday, March 21, 2020. Additionally, the pro-rated 13th month pay for employees who have rendered at least 30 days active service as of the end of the month, shall be released on March 30, 2020. We will also ensure that our maintenance personnel and guards will be taken care of and have committed to compensating them in full until April 13, despite the lockdown.
In closing, I wanted to share with you that I have been very moved by the dedication of our staff to continue our mission of Enabling Access to Success for all our students, despite our ongoing crisis. I would like to thank in particular, our Administrative staff, maintenance team and security guards, for keeping our school’s critical functions running smoothly despite an extraordinarily challenging situation. Lastly, I am very thankful to our students and their families for being so patient with us as we adjust to our new reality, and for providing such helpful feedback.
I am confident that, if we work as one cohesive community, together we will beat COVID-19.
Sama-sama Nating Alagaan ang Pamilyang NTC!
See more at: https://ntc.edu.ph/covid-19/