This is to clarify the article from Rappler entitled, “CHED: ‘We’re ready to open classes this August’ which quoted the undersigned without giving the full context behind the statement.

The misquoted statement, which was also published separately on Facebook states that, “We are ready to open [classes] this August. No ifs, no buts. Learning must continue. We learn as one, we are ready.” This quote has now been used to create a material circulating online saying that “we are ready to die.”

Without stating the proper context, the Rappler article made the readers who did not watch the CHED HiEd Press Conference, believe that CHED is pushing for the opening of ‘regular’ classes by August despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The online comments now bash CHED and the government for allowing students to physically go to school and accusing the government of being insensitive and uncaring for the health and safety of students.

CHED wants to make it very clear that higher education institutions (HEIs) will open the semester in August using flexible learning mode. There are NO regular face-to-face classes in August.

The context behind the said quote is that the Commission recognizes the bayanihan spirit of the HEIs to help other HEIs, especially those in far-flung areas to prepare them for flexible learning when classes resume in August.

The article unduly hampers the spirit of bayanihan advocated by the Commission and HEIs especially during these challenging times, while everyone is finding ways to cope with the pandemic.

I encourage Rappler to provide a balanced report, using the proper context discussed in the press conference, instead of inciting controversy. Let us learn and educate as one.

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

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