On March 15, the Ministry of Education (MOE) suspended all official overseas placements, including overseas internships and exchanges in Institutes of Higher Learning (IHL) in Singapore, in light of the Covid-19 spread around the world.
All university students on overseas exchange were recalled back, resulting in many students facing disruption of their classes.
Yale-NUS to offer pass/fail option for all modules in current semester
To alleviate students' concerns about the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, Yale-NUS College has allowed all faculty students to exercise the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) option for any module taken in the current semester.
This includes students who have been recalled from their overseas placements and have chosen to resume their classes at the college.
The option allows students to choose whether to have the grade attained for a particular module to be added to their Grade Point Average (GPA). If they choose to exercise the option, the student only needs to get a passing mark for the module.
According to Joanne Roberts, the college's executive vice president of academic affairs, the measure was taken to help students focus on learning and set aside their worries about achievement metrics.
"Our faculty are empowered to respond flexibly to students’ needs and can exercise a range of options as pedagogically appropriate without losing sight of fulfilling a student’s learning objectives," Roberts said in a statement to Mothership.
"Through such additional flexibility, we hope to better support our students and help them through this challenging time."
Students recalled back due to Covid-19 outbreak
All universities in Singapore have begun recalling their students who are currently on overseas internships or exchange programs, under the Ministry of Education's (MOE) March 15 call to suspend all official overseas placements.
Many university students recalled from their overseas placements have voiced concerns about the suspension and possible loss of academic credits, despite measures in place to ensure that students' graduations would not be delayed.
In addition, a number of modules in the IHLs have been affected by Covid-19 developments, including the changes made to grading format and switching to online classrooms.
The measures have caused much unhappiness among affected students, some who have taken to online forums such as NTU Confessions to voice their dissatisfaction over the matter.
Read the full statement by Roberts here:
"Yale-NUS College has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation so we can best respond to the needs of our students, faculty and staff, and ensure their safety and well-being. We are communicating regularly with our students to understand the different challenges or anxieties that they may be facing during this difficult period and supporting them wherever we can.
As a community of learning, this means helping our students focus on learning while setting aside, as far as we can, their worries about achievement metrics. Our faculty are empowered to respond flexibly to students’ needs and can exercise a range of options as pedagogically appropriate without losing sight of fulfilling a student’s learning objectives. For this semester only, all students may opt to exercise the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) option for any module taken. However, students have been cautioned to seek advice from their academic advisor that choosing such an option may impact how a future professional or graduate school views their transcript.
Through such additional flexibility, we hope to better support our students and help them through this challenging time."
Top image via Yale Daily News