Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta again showed its concern for its students, this time by holding an online meeting session called ‘Rektor Menyapa’ on Saturday (5/16). After almost two months of no face-to-face teaching and learning activities, this online gathering was held to reduce the sense of longing and open a direct question and answer session with students, about their complaints during the COVID-19 pandemic period which was answered directly by the UMY rector and staff its leader.
The event starred UMY Rektor Dr. Ir. Gunawan Budiyanto M.P along with his vice-rectors who sat side by side facing the camera in the lobby of the AR A Building Floor 1 to listen directly to the problems faced by students while studying at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like an interactive discussion panel, question and answer sessions can take place even though they are online and broadcast live through UMYogya’s official Youtube and Instagram accounts starting at 10:00 WIB. As many as 4000 students took part in this session.
On this occasion, students who watched the live broadcast were invited to ask any related questions regarding lecture activities which in their current condition had to be done online. There were a number of students who expressed their complaints, and some of them asked about the continuity of the teaching and learning process both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. There are also those who stated that the online lecture system conducted by UMY is not yet optimal.
“In the beginning, many lecturers were confused about what lecture methods should be applied online, so we kept trying to provide workshops and training for them. We have an online learning media that has been developed since 2016 called MyKlass, which is quite effective but we will continue to develop it again to meet the students’ online learning needs. We don’t want to be Ivory Towers here who don’t know the surrounding conditions, so this session is held to find out what difficulties students are experiencing now, “said Gunawan.
The UMY Vice-Rector of Academic Affairs Dr. Ir. Sukamta MT., IPM., Added that UMY did not want to complicate students in situations like this. “Basically we want to make it easier for students. We have implored lecturers to give the fairest possible values. If the internship, practicum, and cooperation program can be done online, we have given authority to each faculty to carry them out according to the existing conditions, but if it cannot be done online, the program can be shifted to the schedule after the COVID 19 pandemic has ended, “he added.
The next problem which also became a concern of students was raised, namely related to the tuition cost of the odd semester in the 2020-2021 semester. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the economy of most students’ families, so it was felt that cutting tuition fee would be a wise option in the current situation. Answering the request, the UMY Rector firmly said that he promised to reduce tuition fees.
“We will immediately formulate an academic guidance process because we do not want to create confusion. essentially, we want to make it easier for students to continue the teaching and learning process, including fully supporting those who want to immediately complete their studies on our beloved campus. And we will make sure to provide relief to all students about tuition fees without the need for complicated requirements, but for the amount, we will convey further, “concluded Gunawan. (Hbb)