Iloilo City, Philippines — Central Philippine University’s College of Law held its first-ever digital comprehensive examination last Sunday, March 21, 2021.
This is the college’s preparation for the digital, localized, and proctored bar examinations in November this year.
CPU College of Law preparations
“The exam was supposedly scheduled on March 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2021. However, when the Supreme Court released the guidelines for the computerization of the bar exams for 2020/21 early this January, I decided to change the exam from handwritten to computerized mode of exam. The goal was to allow our students to have a feel on how it will be when the bar exams will be on digital mode,” said Atty. Aila Rae B. Endonilla, Dean of CPU College of Law.
“I immediately requested a meeting with the different departments of the University through the help of the Office of the President, to determine the facilities available and the manpower needed for the exams. Several meetings ensued with the Office of the President, Office of the Vice-President for Student Affairs, College of Computer Studies and the persons in charge with security, buildings and grounds, physical plant facilities,” she added.
The Comprehensive Examination will run for four Sundays. The first Sunday (March 21, 2021) subjects are Political Law in the morning and Labor Law in the afternoon. The second Sunday (March 28, 2021) is for Civil Law and Taxation, the third Sunday (April 11, 2021) is for Commercial Law and Criminal Law and the last Sunday (April 18, 2021) is for Remedial Law and Legal and Judicial Ethics.
Morning subjects run from at 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and afternoon subjects run from at 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
“I like the new set up in taking the Comprehensive Exam. It may be true that taking the exam traditionally, handwritten, the examiner can see the effort, struggles and hardships of the students/takers through their penmanship. But with the new set up, computerized, it is easier for the student to answer the exam. They will no longer worry that the examiner cannot decipher their penmanship because we use a uniform font style and size. The student can now focus more on answering the questions instead of worrying that we cannot finish the exam because some of the takers, like me, cannot write fast,” said Larry Pestaño, one of the Comprehensive Examination takers.
Exams and health protocols
For the safety of everyone, strict health protocols are strictly implemented.
The number of students per room depends on its size. In an average-sized room, there are 10 takers while in the two larger rooms there are around 20 takers.
“We had to consider the health protocols and the security of the facilities. A request to hold the exams at the first floor of the Senior High School building was initially made, however, PRC already made previous reservations for board exams on the same dates of the comprehensive exam, hence, we used the rooms at the third and fourth floor of the Senior High School Building for the comprehensive exams,” said Dean Endonila.
“Since the IATF rules require that rooms must be used by less than 50% capacity, the extra computers at the 2 laboratory rooms at the third and fourth floors were transferred to the other classrooms in the same floor,” she added.
The exams were conducted in open rooms. The air conditioning units will not be used. All the windows and doors will remain open during the exam. Wash area is available at the ground floor and all rooms will have alcohol dispensers.
Also, security guards at the main gate ensures that all students who enter the campus are not exhibiting or manifesting any symptoms of COVID-19.
Each examinee is assigned the same seat and computer throughout the duration of the exam.
Furthermore, all the rooms will be sanitized by UV sterilization after the exam every Sunday.
According to Dean Endonila, electrical lines were placed in the classrooms to ensure that each computer outside the laboratory rooms will have its own electrical outlet and UPS units. In addition, a letter was sent to More Electric Power Corporation requesting for a stable power supply. The generator at the power plant was also on standby.
The tables and uninterruptible power supply (“UPS”) units were hauled from the library to the Senior High School Building. The setting up of the rooms and the computers were done during the period March 5-18, 2021.
Personnel from the College of Computer Studies were requested to man the 8 rooms to be used in the event problems with the computers will crop up during the exams. Personnel from the physical plant facility were requested to go on standby in case of brownout and to ensure that the rooms will be sanitized after the exams.
“On March 20, 2021, we conducted a meeting with the IT/proctors to ensure the smooth conduct of the exams,” she added.
When the computers were ready at the 8 laboratory/classrooms of the Senior High School Building, a dry run was done to determine whether the computers were all in good condition.
9 computers were placed on standby in case a student will complain that the computer assigned to him/her was not working.
Flash drives for each room were purchased to save the answers of the students.
The officers of the Order of Kalantiao were requested to conduct the “Compre-Ops” were duly. A special place was assigned to the compre-ops to ensure the health and safety of the volunteers and the examinees.
The CPU College of Law is applying as one of the testing centers for the Bar Exam 2021.
“Yes, the University is assessing the facilities available in campus to determine if we can qualify based on the requirements released by the Supreme Court,” Dean Endonila confirmed.
Lastly, here’s the message of Dean Aila Rae Endonilla’s to the compre takers:
“Congratulations, you have hurdled the first Sunday of the comprehensive exams. If you feel good or bad yesterday, forget it. It would be best if you study and focus on what lies ahead. Study hard for Civil Law and Tax for next Sunday. Study hard and pray even harder.”
There are a total of 107 examinees. The 2020 Bar exams was postponed due to the pandemic and the 2020 and 2021 Bar exams shall be joined this year.
Article is published on behalf of CPU College of Law Student Council. This is originally posted here.