Palace: No ‘academic holiday’

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    MALACANANG yesterday said there would be no “academic holiday” despite the series of typhoons that affected power and telecommunication infrastructures and contributed to the suspension of online classes in several parts of the country.

    Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has said that schools affected by the suspension of online classes, especially universities and colleges, would have to make up for the school days that they missed and extend their classes by one to two weeks instead.

    “The answer I got from CHED is there will be no academic holiday. There will instead be an extension of classes for universities and colleges that were unable to hold classes due to the typhoons,” he said.

    Roque said for schools providing basic education, the Department of Education is implementing blended learning which means classes are not limited to online but also include asynchronous and modular schemes.

    The CHED ignored the appeal of some lawmakers for a nationwide and even Luzon-wide academic break after the devastation wrought by two recent typhoons.

    CHED chairman Prospero De Vera III said the commission cannot implement a unilateral academic break, especially on a nationwide level, because the gravity of the impact of Typhoons Rolly and Ulysses were different in places across the country.

    “This is not the policy of the commission,” he stressed.

    Because of the damage wrought by Rolly and Ulysses in Bicol, Metro Manila, Calabarzon, and Cagayan Valley, Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago called on CHED to declare an academic break for students, teachers, and faculty members affected by the two typhoons.

    “We leave that to schools authorities, because different schools and different students and families are affected differently,” De Vera said.

    The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council had declared the provinces of Bicol, Rizal, Cagayan Valley, and Isabela, and Marikina City as among the places severely affected by Rolly and Ulysses. – With Noel Talacay