A news report from the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) today claims that CHED ‘nixes’ online learning over slow PH internet.

PDI 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 Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has never taken this position.

All CHED Advisories (Numbers 1-6) issued from March 2020 encouraged all higher education institutions (HEIs) to employ alternative learning or flexible learning systems, including online learning, to ensure that learning continues during the quarantine period and in order for the students to complete the semester.

These alternative/flexible learning 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, 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. In short, 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.

Clearly, the choice and design of flexible learning systems by HEIs must take into consideration the internet access available to the HEIs, faculty and students.

CHED therefore does not make these decisions for individual HEIs, and 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.

(signed)
J. PROSPERO E. DE VERA III, DPA
Chairman
Commission on Higher Education

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