To the JRU Community
Hello again. I hope this letter finds you all safe and healthy, as we continue to go through the COVID-19 pandemic. José Rizal University has been quite busy during this time, and many have asked about our plans for the upcoming school year (SY), 2020-2021. In this letter, we answer your major questions. We hope to provide you with a sense of clarity and comfort that education will continue and that the student at JRU will be safe. JRU has always promised that, “We Care About Good Education.” It is a promise you can trust us to keep.
Specifically, we believe that during this pandemic, trusting us to keep that promise is defined by three concerns:
(1) the safety and health for students,
(2) our school fees, and
(3) how we can deliver our programs to students.
So allow me to discuss our plans for each concern. But first, a few announcements…
Start of SY 2020-2021. The schoolyear for 2020-2021 will begin on Monday, August 10, 2020. This is for all levels. This is the same date as pre-COVID-19 and a result of our decision to move our school year to August.
Enrolment. Enrolment will start on July 13 for current JRU students and July 14 for new students who are not transferees, and with early (online) enrollment ongoing now. Early enrolment can be found here . The details of online enrolment will be further discussed at the end of this letter.
Online and face-to-face. All classes, until further notice from the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), will be run through flexible learning, primarily online through our learning management platform, Canvas. Existing students already have Canvas accounts. New students will get their own Canvas accounts. (We also have a low-bandwidth approach for those with weaker internet connections.)
Please note that when face-to-face classes are eventually allowed, the main mode of learning will still be based on online, for safety and health requirements. JRU has over a decade’s experience with online work, and believes it holds several advantages in addition to safety. We are excited to bring you unto our blended world.
Graduation: First week of August. Last March 13, 2020, we wrote that we would aim for a Batch 2020 graduation in the last week of July to the beginning of August, which is when we thought quarantine would be lifted. We will continue with this promise, but will run it as a (virtual) live stream event. We will release a separate note with more details (such as times and the graduation program), but for now please refer to the graduation dates, below.
|Elementary School||August 3, 2020, Monday|
|Junior High School||August 4, 2020, Tuesday|
|Senior High School||August 5, 6, 7, 2020, Wed-Fri|
|College||August 8, 2020, Saturday|
|Graduate School||August 9, 2020, Sunday|
|Law School||August 9, 2020, Sunday|
The campus is open. JRU started having skeletal staff return to campus last June 8. However, we continue to encourage our staff to work from home, as we have the necessary digital platform for working from home. While students and parents can come to the campus to transact business, our major transactions (document requests, payments) can all be done online or through our partners (e.g., banks for payments). We encourage students and parents to try these online services, accessible through www.jru.edu.
The Three Concerns
Strict adherence to health protocols. We are fully compliant with all safety protocols for health and security for students, faculty and staff, as mandated by the DOH, DTI and DOLE. We also closely follow the protocols of the Philippine Society of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID), interpreted and guided by the University’s Medical and Dental Clinic (MDC). Once the DepEd and CHEd release their own additional guidelines, if any, we expect to be fully compliant with these. Furthermore, our compliance of all rules are monitored by ISO, a third-party audit that checks our compliance with procedures.
No face-to-face for now. President Rodrigo Duterte has announced that there will be no face-to-face until a vaccine is developed. DepEd has followed this pronouncement. CHEd has said that for higher education, face-to-face with physical distancing can start when an area is under Modified GCQ, but only after September 1, and depending on additional regulations of the local government unit (Mandaluyong City, in our case). Given all these conditionalities, the dates for the physical opening of classes at all levels remains unclear.
How do we estimate then when students will be allowed back? While a vaccine may take a while, we do also know the most common measure for deciding is when the daily number of new COVID-19 cases decreases and approaches zero. This has been described in media as “flattening the curve.” JRU’s forecast of curve flattening uses the SEIR (Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious-Recovered) epidemic model, and estimates flattening to happen from October-December. The UP COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team uses the same type of model, with similar results.
Our model suggests that face-to-face will still be in October at the earliest. When a decision by the Government is made, we plan to ask students to come back little by little, guided by our own forecasts of the pandemic.
Online health. Health is also about helping students cope with learning online under quarantine conditions. We thus launched our Online Counseling & Consulting Service for students last May 5, 2020. That service can be found here. This service aims to assist students to cope socially and emotionally during this pandemic. It is a secure venue where a student can freely express thoughts and feelings with a university counselor (through a variety of platforms, like email, sms, video meeting or call), while protecting his or her privacy.
2. School Fees Will Be Lower
COVID-19 has caused unique financial difficulties for students and families. Therefore: (1) there will be no increase in total school fees for SY 2020-2021, and (2) our total school fees (TSF) for SY 2020-2021 will be less than our TSF for SY 2019-2020. The detailed schedule of fees can be found here.
Reducing school fees presents a difficult balance between keeping education affordable and sustaining the quality of the University and its employees. But because of the pandemic, we opted to reduce fees even if our services are available online – and the reason no miscellaneous fee is zeroed out. For example, with the library fee, we have invested heavily over the years in online library searches, and online journals and textbooks. The library therefore will be providing close to full services (with the exception of physical study areas) during any quarantine. That influenced the amount of discount we put into that fee. Online also has its own costs. We worked therefore to balance these cost increases and reductions, with the end-goal of a lower TSF than last year.
In addition to lower school fees, your “total spend” (the amount you spend on education) should go down in SY 2020-2021. There should be savings in transportation costs, and the University has reduced or removed several co-curricular fees (such as field trips or third-party certifications), and moved more heavily to e-books, which should reduce your textbook charges.
Finally, we always make a point of letting you know how JRU stands compared to its peers: the top-tier autonomous NCR universities. We maintain our position as among if not the affordable autonomous university in the NCR, a position that should strengthen with these fee reductions.
We hope these adjustments bring you some comfort. We are trying to find the best way forward for affordability and at the same time maintain our responsibility to delivery quality.
3. Learning: You Have Options
The options. We recognize some students and parents are concerned about physically going back to school, when the government decides to allow that. Thus, we want to give parents and students a full range of flexible learning options and the choice to decide what works for them given their unique circumstances:
Why give a choice? Even if the government allows for face-to-face, some students and parents will want to stay home. Others, however, may be ready to go to school. We thus believe it is a wrong decision to make all parents and students follow one approach. So we designed a system that allows the student or parent to go with the approach best for their unique situation. We have merged the principles of on-line, blended, study, and distance education to design an experience which is truly Rizalian in nature.
JRU’s leadership in online. Can JRU deliver on such a system? Yes, we can. It is important for students and parents to know that JRU is one of the top universities in the country in terms of online expertise: experience, delivery, content creation, exposure to students, and training of faculty.
Technical requirements. Please refer to the table below. We have set up these minimum requirements in anticipation that you will not need to buy a new gadget. However, should you want to upgrade your device, we recommend you invest towards a larger screen and better internet connections.
|Device (any of the following)||Operating System|
(Any of the following OS depends on your device)
|Browser (Any)||Internet Connectivity and Data (Any)|
|Laptop or desktop|
(at least 1 GB RAM, 2GHz processor)
|Windows XP SP3 and newer||Internet Explorer 8||Internet speed: at least 512 kbps (equivalent mobile speed is 3G)|
|Tablet||Mac OSX 10.6 and newer||Chrome 19||Data: at least 4 GB per month (used exclusively for school)|
Mobile OS Native App Support
iOS 5 and newer
Android 2.3 and newer
Internet support. We have negotiated special packages with Globe and Smart regarding mobile data and equipment pricing, available for purchase exclusively for the JRU community. These packages will include up to 1 GB daily data allowances for Netflix, Youtube, Facebook, Zoom, Wikipedia, and Microsoft 365 access, depending on the carrier. (We are in the process of requesting that Canvas LMS be included in the 1 GB allowance.) We will present these separately as a menu of choices.
We have also worked with Microsoft to obtain free Microsoft 365 licenses for anyone with a jru.edu address, in addition to the Google Suite access you enjoy as a member of the JRU Community and are negotiating special pricing for those of you who want to purchase equipment.
Adjustments due to COVID-19. Naturally, we made adjustments to our online systems due to COVID-19. Here are four points to know:
I have opted to go into detail about the Three Concerns. We feel that the details give you a better sense of how prepared we are for the opening of classes, and how safe the student will be at JRU. Like we said at the beginning of this letter, JRU cares about good education, and we will keep that promise to you.
|DATE 2020||COLLEGE (and LAW)||SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL||JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL||ELEMENTARY SCHOOL|
|July 13 (M)||Fourth/Fifth Year||Grade 12|
|Grade 10||Grade 6|
|July 14 (T)||Freshmen||Grade 12|
A&D / Sports / TECHVOC
|Grade 7||Kinder and Grade I|
|July 15 (W)||Freshmen||Grade 11||Grade 8||All other Old Pupils|
|July 16 (TH)||Second Year||Grade 11||Grade 9||All other Old Pupils|
|July 17 (F)||Third Year||Transfer and||Transfer and||Transfer and Open Enrolment|
|July 18 (S) Onwards||Transfer and Open Enrolment||Open Enrolment||Open Enrolment||Transfer and Open Enrolment|
Enrolment Procedures. Students can enroll online by logging into our Student’s Portal.
For those who wish to enroll manually, please visit the Registrar’s office (Monday to Friday, from 8:00am to 5:00pm) at JRU.
Once admitted, the applicant may now proceed with the registration of the subjects and payment through the JRU’s payment facilities, here.
The applicant will be considered officially enrolled once paid the required initial downpayment. An official JRU email account and user-credentials access and password will be sent via email entered during application.
Payments. JRU has several payment facilities: online, over-the-counter (banks and Cebuana Lhullier), PayMaya and GCash, and of course, at the JRU campus itself. A complete list with instructions is available here. The initial downpayment for any course at any level is P2,800 (except for Law School and Graduate School).
Except for over- the-counter payments and online bills payment, please take a screenshot of proof of payment and email to Ms. Amie G. Pilande of the Student Accounts Section (email@example.com). Be sure to keep a copy of your proof of payment.
The University Calendar, SY 2020-2021
|August 10, 2020||Classes Begin||ES, JHS, SHS, CO, LAW, GS|
|September 7-8||First Grading Period||ES|
|September 10-11||First Grading Period||JHS|
|September 17-19||Preliminary Exam||SHS|
|September 14-19||Preliminary Exam||CO|
|September 14-19||Preliminary Exam||LAW|
|September 21-26||Midterm Exam||GS|
|October 1-2||Fist Grading Period||ES|
|October 14-15||Fist Grading Period||JHS|
|October 28-30||Midterm Exam||SHS|
|November4-5||Second Grading Period||ES|
|November 9-10||Second Grading Period||JHS|
|November 16-21||Final Examination||GS|
|December 2-3||Second Grading Period||ES|
|December 3-4||Second Grading Period||JHS|
|December 07||Classes Begin||GS|
|December 7,9-12||Final Examination||CO|
|December 7,9-12||Final Examination||LAW|
|January 15-16||Third Grading Period||ES|
|January 18-19||Third Grading Period||JHS|
|January 18||Classes Begin||CO|
|January 18||Classes Begin||LAW|
|January 18||Classes Begin||SHS|
|February 5-6||Third Grading Period||ES|
|February 23-24||Third Grading Period||JHS|
|March 1-6||Preliminary Exam||CO|
|March 1-6||Preliminary Exam||LAW|
|March 4-6||Preliminary Exam||SHS|
|March 16-17||4th Grading Period||ES|
|March 23-24||4th Grading Period||JHS|
|April 5-8||Midterm Exam||CO|
|April 5-8||Midterm Exam||LAW|
|April 6-8||Midterm Exam||SHS|
|April 15-16||4th Grading Period||ES|
|April 22-23||4th Grading Period||JHS|
|May 3-5||Final Examination (graduating)||SHS|
|May 6-8||Final Examination (graduating)||CO|
|May 6-8||Final Examination (graduating)||LAW|
|May 18-19||Student for Promotion-Exam||JHS|
You may see the complete version of the school calendar here.
Sample schedules. These online schedules show sample days for Elementary, Junior high school and Senior high school. College schedules will depend on your enrolled courses.
I assume you will have other questions not covered here. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the more specific information below:
|Enrollment and General Inquiriesemail@example.com||+63917-637-9730|
|AIMS and JRU Email Concernsfirstname.lastname@example.org||+63998-884-5269|
|Graduation and Documentsemail@example.com||+63915-881-2276|
|Student Accounts and Financial Concernsfirstname.lastname@example.org||+63915-065-6941|
Rest assured that we will continue to be open to any opportunities that we deem will improve our services. Stay safe and healthy, everyone. I hope to see you all in August.
(Sgd.)Vincent K. Fabella
 We had the opportunity to recently listen to the chairman of Moderna, which expects to go to Phase 3 of its vaccine trials this July. This is the last step before US Government approvals. He said that a “reasonable expectation” for a vaccine to be available is first to second quarter of 2021.
 JRU is one of the few Philippine universities monitoring – through our partners – the protocols used by other countries that have opened up their schools, thus expanding our knowledge of what is best for our students. What we have seen in most countries is that face-to-face starts when the daily count of new cases is low (often less than 10/day).
 JRU COVID-19 Research Team. 2020. Modelling and Simulating the COVID-19 outbreak in NCR. Jose Rizal University Internal Report.
 University of the Philippines. 2020. Policynote1-UP-Preparing for a post ECQ scenario: Analysis and recommendations. [online] Available at: <https://drive.google.com/file/d/1r3W4b9jvOz9JC96nCthpS79E6IZZUesd/view> [Accessed 3 June 2020]
 These fees have funded and will continue to fund making these services available online.
 In rare cases, these can be delivered directly to your home address by courier.