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OLFU kicks off FLEX Semester for School Year 2020-2021
OLFU kicks off FLEX Semester for School Year 2020-2021

By: Vicente Santos


By: Vicente Santos


It is undeniable that the times have brought major shifts to education; now, things must be done differently. Due to recent health hazards, the present school year in the Philippines had to become anything but typical – the classroom teachings had to exist in a new paradigm, hence the adoption of distance learning back and forth. 

At Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU), the New Normal of education manifested in the Fatima Learning Experience, or better known as FLEX. With the first Semester of School Year 2020-2021 officially beginning in August 2020, OLFU hosted a series of activities to warmly welcome its students and help them get settled into the current school setup.

Mass of the Holy Spirit

On 13 August 2020, the Mass of the Holy Spirit was celebrated live via the University’s official Facebook page with University Chaplain, Fr. Lito Caliwag as the presider. 

In his homily, he encouraged everyone to “make ‘the New Normal’ normal” in terms of their studies; he hopes that the same amount of effort exerted by students before the pandemic may continue even in this new era of learning. He also emphasized how important it is to continue with education and moving up the academic ladder. 

“Continue rising to the top,” Fr. Caliwag heartened. According to him, amid this time of turmoil, everyone needs the peace of Christ who gives everyone strength to carry on.

Students’ and Parents’ Orientation

Students and parents then got to know more about OLFU and what’s in store for them at the Home of the Topnotchers through a series of online orientations conducted by the Center for Guidance Services for the Basic Education Department, Senior High School, and College Programs on August 12-15 and 22, 2020. On the other hand, orientations for the College of Medicine took place on September 1, 2020. International students had their orientation on 14 September 2020. 

This is the first time that OLFU has conducted such orientations online. 

University President Dr. Caroline Marian Enriquez was also present in the sessions to give her welcoming words. To begin, she expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to continue serving the Fatima students even in this time of the pandemic. She likewise thanked everyone for the trust that they have given to the school. 

Dr. Enriquez expounded on the development of the Fatima Learning Experience or FLEX, citing the numerous efforts of the faculties and the entire academic community in ensuring the quality of the learning modules and their delivery. In addition to academics, she also mentioned the availability of online student services and co-curricular activities.

To further inspire the audience, Dr. Enriquez also shared a short story about a carrot, an egg, and a coffee bean, which tell about the wise way to face and overcome adversities in life. “My wish for you is that you will have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrows to keep you human, and enough hope to make you happy,” she said.

Reiterating the battlecry, “Go, FLEX!”, Dr. Enriquez closed by uplifting her listeners: “Be assured that Our Lady of Fatima University is with you all the time, ready to support you in your studies.” 

With the theme “Your University…Our University,” the orientations provided essential information about the alma mater, such as its vision, mission, and the ACHIEVER values. Moreover, the program gave the students a glimpse of how the new school year will come into play. These involved a short tutorial on accessing Canvas, presented by the University’s Education, Learning, Innovation and Technology Advancement (ELITE) Center, and a session on online etiquette or “netiquette.”

Students were able to familiarize themselves with their chosen programs, learning track, and their faculty, as well as the University leadership. Moreover, they also got to see the campus facilities, which they will get to experience once face-to-face classes resume.