By Ellalyn de Vera-Ruiz
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is permitting schools using the old academic calendar, from June to May, to finish the current semester by April 30, 2020.
In a memorandum issued Tuesday, CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera said educational institutions that are using the old academic calendar are “authorized to finish their current semester, trimester, quarter or equivalent academic period by April 30, 2020, utilizing a combination of flexible learning options that reflect the best assessment of their students’ outcomes.”
He discouraged in-person graduation ceremonies given the continuing need for social distancing and the restrictions on mass gathering.
Meanwhile, CHED-recognized private higher educational institutions (HEIs), regardless of accreditation status, were allowed to exercise flexibility in determining the extent of adjustments for their approved academic calendar.
For schools that are using the new academic calendar, August-July, CHED authorized the extension of their semester for a maximum of one month after the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine.
Given the extension of the semester, De Vera said HEIs may conduct summer/midterm classes only for graduating students who need to complete their academic requirements; for students whose subjects are scheduled in the summer under the policies, standards, and guidelines of their degree program; and students taking up graduate studies.
He ordered the strict observance of physical distancing and other safety measures during the conduct of special summer classes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.
De Vera pointed out that classes in all levels and school activities including on-the-job training (OJT) and internships for the entire Luzon region will continue to be suspended until April 30.
During the period of extended enhanced community quarantine, HEIs should continue to exercise their judgment in the deployment of available flexible learning and other alternative modes of delivery in lieu of in-campus learning if they have the resources to do so. #
“The exercise of discretion by the HEIs and their faculty must be reasonable, transparent and outcomes-based validated,” De Vera said.
The HEIs were authorized to determine how to best meet the contact hour requirements for the completion of a subject or degree program.
They may undertake alternative assessments and remediations and consider student assessment and computation of grades to be based on current student records and school academic policies.