Lockdown-hit colleges, universities can extend school year by 1 month: CHEd

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 15 2020 12:50 PM | Updated as of Apr 15 2020 01:08 PM

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MANILA - Colleges and universities severely affected by the Luzon lockdown may extend their school year for a month, the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) said Wednesday.

These are schools that follow the new academic calendar, or those that begin the school year in August and were only halfway through the second semester by the time Luzon was placed in an enhanced community quarantine last March 17, said CHEd chairman Prospero de Vera.

"Depende sa kanila gaano kahaba ang extension pagka-lift ng quarantine, depende dun sa estado ng kanilang estudyante, completion ng requirements ng mga kurso. Maximum of 1 month extension," he told radio DZMM.

De Vera said schools that follow the old calendar, or those that begin the school year in June, may adjust their academic calendars without prior approval of the CHEd but it must inform the agency's regional office of the changes.

The agency is also reviewing degree programs for which internship hours could be decreased only for the academic year 2019 to 2020.

Once the lockdown is lifted on April 30, schools are advised to "adopt measures to safeguard the health and safety of their returning students, faculty and staff," De Vera said in an advisory released Tuesday.

"Where appropriate, HEIs shall conduct an inventory of all their constituents and categorize those who are coming from localities with and without COVID-19 positive cases," he said.

"HEIs (Higher education institutions) shall put up mechanisms to monitor the health of its students, faculty and staff, especially those coming from COVID-19 positive areas, and ensure that they get appropriate health care if they are ill."
 
The CHEd will provide updates to any changes as it meets with other state agencies on a regular basis to assess the pandemic's threat, De Vera said.