The university aims to fully integrate a unified XU Grade School into the Basic Education Complex in Pueblo come SY2022-2023
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — Aiming to reinvent the XU Grade School to be more responsive to the demands and challenges of 21st-century learning, Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan has announced on Friday, March 12, that it will be consolidating the XUGS Macasandig and Pueblo campuses into one.
“The Grade School consolidation is good news,” shares XU President Fr Mars Tan SJ in his message during the XUGS Convocation. “This plan will be carried out beginning in April this year and will be implemented in phases until 2023 or even beyond.”
The One XUGS Consolidation forms part of the strategic plan of the university, in line with its educational mission and vision of “becoming a leading ASEAN university forming leaders of character by 2033.”
“The consolidation is strategic, sustainable, and it will pave the way to a more systematic and organized XU Grade School,” says Fr Mars. “This will not happen automatically; we all have to work together to translate the consolidation gains into a more systematic and efficient GS operation.”
XU’s plan is not just to focus on the physical transfer of its teaching and non-teaching personnel, but also on curriculum development and building of additional infrastructure to deliver excellent 21st-century education and provide a more conducive learning environment for its students, teachers, and parents alike.
Full integration in SY2022-2023
Come SY2022-2023, the consolidated XUGS will be fully integrated into the XU Basic Education Complex in Pueblo, along with the Preschool, Junior High, and Senior High School (Academic Track and ALGCIT).
All XUGS pupils will be closer to the Xavier Ateneo Sports Centre, which has a track oval, a seven-lane swimming pool, and different courts, as well as the Manresa Farm along Masterson Avenue.
Fr Mars shared that parents need not worry about the immediate implications of the consolidation as XUGS will not require their pupils to return to campus anytime soon while the IATF prohibitions and safety protocols are still imposed in line with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“XUGS is implementing online classes for this school year (SY2020-2021) and the next (SY2021-2022), so the students will have to stay at home, there is no need to go to the Pueblo campus yet,“ adds Dr Dulce Dawang, VP for Basic Education.
The conduct of face-to-face classes for SY2022-2023 on the Pueblo campus will only be allowed when permitted by the proper government agencies and upon careful evaluation by the university administration.
“The transition will not be immediate for our pupils because we still have to follow the protocols of the government,” Dr Dawang says. “We only hope that by SY2022-2023, we will be able to cater up to 50% of our students at any given time as part of the Cautious Return to Campus and XU’s Flexible Learning Program.”
Memories in XUGS Macasandig
While the XUGS Macasandig activities will be transferred gradually uptown, the admin will study the possible next uses of the XUGS Macasandig as other higher education units have expressed their interest in developing it as their own campus.
“As of this time, there is no definite plan yet, but we will be subjecting it to further studies and evaluations so we can optimize the next use of the Macasandig campus,” shares Fr Mars, adding that “we will still make use of its facilities in Macasandig, particularly the XUGS Auditorium.”
The university president has also acknowledged the different concerns shared by the XUGS faculty and staff during the convocation’s open forum.
He shares: “There are still other important things to look at and consider in the GS consolidation, such as the memories of your many years in the GS Macasandig campus that we won’t be able to bring with us completely to the new campus. We in the administration recognize that and we would like to work with you on how we can manage well this potential emotional impact on us.”
XUGS Principal Samuel Macagba suggested holding a special ceremony at the Macasandig campus before the official start of the consolidated grade school.
Fr Mars also hopes that parents will welcome this good news for their children and see the advantages of a “reimagined XU Grade School.”
As soon as the various committees will be formed, Fr Mars has assured the XUGS community, including the parents and alumni, that there will be consultations to address the concerns and to make the consolidation a success.
“We will have a series of small group discussions to consult you on how to do this better,” he says. “There is a committee to take the lead in the planning, but it won’t just be the work of the committee, we want you to be involved because the new consolidated GS is your new project, your new school, your new home.” ▩