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Uniform policy on ending, starting semestral classes untenable –CHED

A one-size-fits-all rule in ending or extending semestral classes that are interrupted by the COVID-19 crisis will not work, Commission on Higher Education chairman Prospero de Vera Jr. said Thursday.

According to De Vera, aside from the fact that the situation in Luzon resulting from the spread of the novel coronavirus disease is different from other parts of the country, colleges and universities use two academic calendars: the one that starts in June and ends in March, and the other that starts in August and ends in May.

“Iyong nag-start ng June, puede na isara kasi may basehan na sila on how to grade students kasi halos patapos na ang semester nung ipatupad ang lockdown. Pero iyong mga mag-e-end ng May, iyon talaga ang tinamaan kasi midterm pa lang sila,” De Vera said in an interview over Dobol B sa News TV.

Also, De Vera said colleges and universities that are still in their mid-semester when the virus emergency struck have since resorted to implementing alternative learning system to compensate for lost class hours  due to the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“Hindi talagang puedeng one size fits all because that would be killing the innovativeness of the schools at iba-iba rin ang situation on the ground. Sa Guimaras, halimbawa, walang COVID-19 case roon,” De Vera said.

“Doon naman sa naabutan ng lockdown, they can extend the semester for a month para maiayos lahat ng requirements,” He added.

As for summer classes, he said these should be limited to graduating students, graduate school students, and those whose courses are required to have summer classes.

Still, he pointed out, social distancing measures should be observed.

Moreover, he said that that internship hours could also be reduced to avoid the risk of exposing students to the virus.

Finally, De Vera called on colleges and universities still under the old calendar to move the opening of their classes to have enough time to prepare since the ECQ is expected to be lifted on May 1.

“Para hindi kayo mamroblema, magbukas na rin kayo ng Agosto para hindi ka na kinakabahan kung ano ba ang mga hakbang mo. You really have to adjust,” he pointed out.

So far, the Philippines has recorded 5,453 COVID-19 cases, 349 deaths, and 353 recoveries. —Llanesca T. Panti/LBG, GMA News