MANILA - Colleges and universities are not required to further revise and delay their academic school year opening, a Commission on Higher Education (CHED) official said Friday, after the Department of Education (DepEd) announced that the opening of classes will be moved to Oct. 5.
Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chairman Prospero de Vera III told CNN Philippines that Republic Act No. 1148, which the deferment of school opening falls under, only covers K-12 and DepEd.
De Vera said higher education falls under the Republic Act No. 7722, known also as the CHED law, which allows colleges and universities to exercise academic freedom, such as opening of classes.
"Universities open their school year, as approved by their board, depending on the way they structure their semester. Hindi po kasi pwede sabay-sabay ang pagbubukas ng mga pamantasan dahil iba-iba ang academic calendar," he said.
De Vera cited the trimestral academic calendars of De La Salle University, Philippine Women's University, and St. Scholastica's College, and the quarterly school year of Mapua University.
"So hindi pwedeng pagsabay-sabayin, it's impractical. It cannot be done," he said.
Classes were supposed to open on Aug. 24, with students learning at home to avoid possible exposure to COVID-19. But DepEd heeded the call of several groups and lawmakers to delay the opening of classes as more time is needed to prepare to transition to distance learning.
Some private schools, including those attached to universities and colleges, have already started classes.