CHED: Colleges, universities free to adjust academic calendar

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Tuesday, April 14, said colleges and universities are allowed to adjust their approved academic calendars in view of the coronavirus pandemic

"During this period between now and April 30, higher education institutions are expected to continue exercising their judegment in the depolyment of available and flexible learning and other relevant modes of delivery in lieu of campus learning," CHED Chairman Prospero de Vera said in a press briefing.

De Vera said that adjustments should be "reasonable, transparent, and outcomes-based validated." 

"They are still expected to determine how to best meet the contact hour requirement for the completion of the degree program," De Vera added. 

CHED issued two sets of guidelines for colleges and universities using the old (June to May) and new (August-July) academic calendars: 

For old academic calendar:

For new academic calendar: 

De Vera said that CHED will review the appropriate programs, standards, and guidelines of the different degree programs so it could make the necessary modifications to cover the changes in internships, OJT, and other requirements to be effective only for academic 2019 to 2020.

Safety measures

In an advisory sent to media, CHED  said that after the lockdown, colleges and universities are advised to adopt the health and safety measures of the returning studentes, faculty, and staff. 

"Given the different community quarantine policies among various localities, all HEIs should ensure that appropriate protocols relative to community quarantine are followed, accordingly, prior to and upon reentry of their constituents," CHED said. 

It added that colleges and universities "shall conduct an inventory of all their constituents and categorize those who are coming from localities with and without COVID-19 positive cases."

According to CHED, the HEIs should make a system in monitoring the health of its students, faculty and staff, especially those coming from areas with coronavirus patients. 

De Vera said colleges and universities outside Luzon are also expected to follow these guidelines. 

As of Tuesday, the Philippines recorded 5,223 coronavirus cases, with 335 deaths and 295 recoveries.

The government extended the lockdown in Luzon until April 30, from the original April 12. –

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.