The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) clarified Saturday that it is not pushing the opening of regular classes in universities and colleges as higher education institutions (HEIs) resuming in August will be using flexible mode of learning.
"CHED wants to make it very clear that higher education institutions will open the semester in August using flexible learning mode. There are no regular face-to-face classes in August," CHED Chairman J. Prospero de Vera III said.
De Vera claimed that he was "misquoted" in a report about a recent virtual briefing where he said that the Commission is ready to open classes this August.
"The misquoted statement states that 'We are ready to open (classes) this August. No ifs, no buts. Learning must continue. We learn as one, we are ready.' This quote has now been used to create a material circulating online saying that 'we are ready to die,'" he said.
The CHED chairman said that without stating the proper context, the report made readers who did not watch the press briefing believe that CHED is pushing for the opening of regular classes next month despite the pandemic.
De Vera also emphasized that the context behind the quote is that CHED recognizes the "bayanihan" spirit of HEIs to help other universities and colleges, especially those in far-flung areas to prepare them for flexible learning.
"The article unduly hampers the spirit of bayanihan advocated by the Commission and HEIs especially during these challenging times, while everyone is finding ways to cope with the pandemic," he added.
The CHED had earlier said colleges and universities will start their school year depending on their learning delivery mode. HEIs using full online education may open any time after May 31, while those with flexible learning mode can start in August.
In the recent briefing, the Commission launched CHED HiEd Bayanihan initiative which offers a virtual and free cooperative learning environment for training, capacity building, and resource sharing among HEIs in the country.
Through this initiative, six universities will be offering free online training for faculty members from other schools on flexible learning to help in preparing for the "new normal."
Among the universities collaborating with the Commission and will offer the free training are the Central Luzon State University, Dela Salle-College of St. Benilde, Far Eastern University, Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation, Philippine Normal University, and Tarlac Agricultural University.