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YEARENDER: UP eyes August opening, holds exams in Braille (Second of two parts)

Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - January 7, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The University of the Philippines (UP) Board of Regents (BOR) is set to discuss this month a proposal to move the opening of classes from June to August.

If approved, UP president Alfredo Pascual said the new calendar will be implemented starting this year.

Based on the proposed academic calendar, registration for the first semester will start in the second week of August and the first day of classes will be in the third week of August. Classes for the first semester will end in the first week of December.

Registration for the second semester will start in the second week of January, while classes start in the third week of January. Classes end in second week of May.

Meanwhile, registration for “summer” classes starts in the second week of June, while classes start in the third week of June. Classes end in the third week of July.

According to the proposal, the shift in the academic calendar will have fewer disruptions due to typhoons, which often affect the country in the months of June and July.

The shift would also move the semestral break to coincide with the Christmas season. The proposal noted that there will be no interruptions in the momentum of classes.

First Braille exam

The university also administered for the first time this year an entrance exam for visually impaired students entirely in Braille.

One of the two senior high school students who took the exam, Paul Onel Dumlao, was accepted to the Bachelor of Arts in Social Science major in Economics program in UP Baguio.

The results of the exam were released two days before Christmas, or around two months earlier than usual. Around 13,000 out of more than 84,000 hopefuls passed the test. 

Multimillion projects

The Manila North Tollways Corp. – chaired by businessman Manny Pangilinan – has funded the renovation and upgrade of the UP Road Safety Research Laboratory (RSRL) worth P1.89 million.

Pangilinan turned over in April 11 to UP officials three units of handheld Global Positioning System, a speed gun, and a computer with transportation research software.

The corporation likewise spent P400,000 for the renovation of the research laboratory.

On Sept. 24, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) secretary Mario Montejo also led the launching of the DNA sequencing core facility of the UP Philippine Genome Center (PGC).

The DNA sequencing facility is one of the three core facilities of the PGC, the other being the bioinformatics and the biobank facilities.

A document posted on the DOST website showed that the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development allotted more than P76 million for the establishment of the DNA sequencing facility and the bioinformatics core facility.

Meanwhile, the UP Training Center for Applied Geodesy and Photogrammetry released an invitation to bid this year for the lease of an aircraft amounting to over P54 million.

It will be used in the two-year Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM) partnership project of the university and the DOST. The budget was part of P1.2 billion allotted by the DOST to the university for the project.

UP also allotted P40 million for “flood hazard exposure feature extraction from LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) datasets.”

A member of DREAM’s data processing component said the budget will be used to employ a team that will conduct the feature extraction. She said feature extraction will produce three-dimensional maps using the aerial data collected by state-of-the-art LiDAR instruments.

ALFREDO PASCUAL APPLIED GEODESY AND PHOTOGRAMMETRY BACHELOR OF ARTS BOARD OF REGENTS CLASSES DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DISASTER RISK AND EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT ENERGY AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH FIRST BRAILLE WEEK
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