MANILA - The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) announced Saturday that it is moving the opening of classes in colleges and universities to June 15.
"May directive si Chairman [Emmanuel] Angeles in a memo postponing the opening [of classes] in college level from June 8 to June 15 (Chairman Emmanuel Angeles has a directive postponing the opening of classes in college level from June 8 to June 15)," announced Julito Vitriolo, deputy executive director of CHED.
Vitriolo said the influenza A(H1N1) virus is the main reason for the CHED's deferment of opening of classes. He said the department wants to give students, who have travelled abroad, enough time for voluntary self-quarantine.
"At the same time, it could help institutions who have foreign students to prepare," the CHED official said.
He said the other reasons for the opening's deferment were the inclement weather and to give consideration to parents who have financial difficulties.
"The situation in the country right now, it's flooding, [which is] not conducive to students and the schools. So that schools can better prepare," he said. "Parents will [also] be able to get more resources for funding."
Vitriolo, meanwhile, assured that the deferment is still within CHED’s target period for the opening of classes. He said schools, particularly private schools, can open classes until June 29.
Angeles came up with the directive after six schools announced that they are postponing the opening of classes as a precautionary measure against the new influenza virus.
The six schools were the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), University of Santo Tomas (UST), Far Eastern University (FEU), St. Paul University-Manila, University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), and the University of the Philippines-Manila (UP).
The PUP and UST had earlier moved the opening of classes to June 15. The FEU rescheduled its opening to June 17, the UA&P deferred classes to June 22 and instead of the original June 10 schedule, and St. Paul postponed its opening to June 16.
The six schools made the announcements after the De La Salle University in Manila suspended its classes from June 3 to June 14. Three of its students, including two Japanese exchange students, have been infected with the dreaded virus.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque said health workers were tracing 120 students who had contact with the three infected DLSU students.