MANILA--Colleges and universities must "adjust their policies" for students and elderly faculty members who are wary of going to school during the coronavirus crisis, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chair Prospero De Vera said Friday.
Higher education institutions "must respect" the decision of students, parents and faculty "if they won't go to school because they are afraid (for) their health and safety," De Vera told the Senate Committee on Finance, which was discussing stimulus package bills for industries affected by the coronavirus crisis.
"They must adjust their policies, like maximum residency, to make sure that children can continue their education," he added, noting that universities and colleges were already informed of the rule.
"Hindi [rin] puwedeng pilitin 'yung mga 60 and above na may comorbidities," De Vera said.
(They also cannot force those aged 60 and above or those with comorbidities.)
Senator Sonny Angara asked De Vera keep a close eye on schools that will penalize deprived students who cannot enrol.
"Siguro if for the reason if economic hardship, hindi naman siguro siya sisipain? Wala sanang ganu'n," Angara said.
(If the reason is economic hardship, may be they should not kick them out? I hope nothing like that happens.)
The CHED has directed schools in its jurisdiction to offer online or hybrid courses to limit the exposure of student, faculty and personnel to the highly contagious disease.
Lawmakers are also looking into providing cash aid for teachers who have not received their salaries during the 80-day lockdown.
The CHED is also pushing for a voucher scheme for students whose parents are overseas Filipino workers to ensure they can continue studying even if their family income was affected by a ban on international flights.