MANILA – Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chair Prospero de Vera III on Friday said they encourage the use of online learning systems to ensure continued learning of higher education institution (HEI) students during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
This is contrary to a news report (of the Philippine Daily Inquirer) that CHED is not supportive of online learning due to the slow internet speed in the country.
“PDI (Philippine Daily Inquirer) claims I said this during the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education (CHTE) hearing yesterday. I do not know how PDI came up with this conclusion because the CHED has never taken this position,” he said in a statement.
In its six advisories, the CHED encouraged all HEIs to employ alternative learning or flexible learning systems so their students could continue learning and complete the semester.
It noted that such systems “must take into consideration the capability and resources of the HEIs and the connectivity available to students”.
“In my presentation to the House CHTE yesterday (Thursday), I reported that many HEIs such as Mapua University, Ateneo De Manila University, De La Salle University, University of Santo Tomas and University of the Philippines Open University were already using online learning before ECQ, many others were already using flexible learning before ECQ, and more than 800 HEIs shifted to flexible learning during ECQ,” de Vera said.
De Vera added that HEIs are very capable to employ flexible learning when classes open in August.
“I also said that HEIs using online learning can open classes even during ECQ because there is no violation of social distancing or prohibition against mass gatherings,” he said.
Citing that CHED does not make decisions for the HEIs, de Vera said the commission “cannot and will not prohibit the use of online learning systems”.
“I have no idea how PDI concluded that I ‘nixed’ online learning systems because of slow internet access. PDI should correct its story immediately. It distorts the discussions in yesterday’s committee hearing and confuses students and their parents. Responsible media reporting is critical during these difficult times. I ask PDI to exercise responsible journalism,” he said. (ia/PNA)