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Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, SIFI-VRO conducted for the first time its online Education Orientations to its scholars for SY 2020-2021.  So far, a total of 277 out of 355 scholars from Panay, Negros and Eastern Visayas have joined these virtual orientations (20 meetings) via Messenger (4 meetings) and Zoom (16 meetings).

The schedule of the online meetings were initially arranged with the sugar mills or planters’ associations. This covered around three meetings per day. Each scholar who attended the meetings was provided with a P100 electronic load to access the internet.

Each meeting runs for a maximum of 40 minutes via Zoom or Messenger. Meeting agenda is focused on the provisions stipulated in the College Scholarship Agreement such as:

  1. Maintenance of GWA: 80% for College Assistance and 85% for College Scholarship except for Engineering which is 80% only.
  2. Requirements to be submitted: 2nd semester report card, SY 2019-20; new application form for SY 2020-21 and 1st semester enrolment copy, SY 2020-21.
  3. Sanctions/penalties and  Deadline of submission.

Some problems also arose such as non-attendance and poor internet signal. The connectivity of the scholars depends on the location, weather in their area and type of internet connection (mobile data or wifi).

Conflict in the scholars’ schedule and type of gadget used were not smartphones or tablets which could download the ZOOM/Messenger apps.

Virtual meetings are doable as long as there is access to internet connection.  Even though most of the SIFI scholars reside in far flung areas, they really tried their best to participate in the meetings in order to maintain their scholarship.