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Silliman University sets up online classes amid coronavirus threat

NEGROS ORIENTAL, Philippines – Classes from preschool to senior high school at Silliman University (SU) in Dumaguete City will be conducted online starting Wednesday, February 5, as part of its preventive measures following the novel coronavirus threat. (READ: First nCoV-related death outside China as patient dies in PH)

In an advisory Monday night, February 3, SU said that classes at the School of Basic Education, from preschool to senior high school, will be undertaken through an "alternative learning scheme." It added that academic activities and assessment will continue at home, based on the learning plan that will be provided to the students.

This came after 7 individuals – 5 in Dumaguete City and two in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental – were quarantined at government hospitals after exhibiting flu-like symptoms. (READ: China coronavirus death toll rises to 425 – gov't)

"While Silliman is confident in the efforts of the Department of Health (DOH) and the provincial and city governments in addressing nCoV, out of caution and prudence, the University will undertake preventive measures," it said.

Silliman said that if the situation improves, it will again issue an advisory whether to resume classes on February 10. Otherwise, the alternative learning scheme will continue, it added.

"During the alternative learning scheme period, the teachers shall continue to observe duty hours to entertain queries from parents, conduct parent conferences, compute grades, and prepare the necessary materials," the school said in the advisory.

For the tertiary and graduate levels, regular classes will continue until further notice, but students, faculty, and staff were advised to observe the necessary precautionary measures.

SU also announced that the scheduled Faculty and Staff Day and the University Honors Day have been postponed, while extracurricular programs including the College Week activities have been cancelled. "This covers all programs and activities in and out of campus for the month of February," it added.

The school also announced its withdrawal from the Central Visayas Regional Athletics Association Meet this month, while teams were instructed to suspend all practices.

SU also reiterated its call to those with cold or flu-like symptoms to immediately see a doctor or visit the university clinic.

The school reminded the students to observe proper hygiene, stay healthy, eat nutritious food, drink lots of water, and monitor updates from proper health authorities such as the DOH and the World Health Organization. – Rappler.com