Schools suspend classes in person and even online

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MANILA, Philippines – Dozens of schools and universities in Metro Manila and other places now under Alert Level 3 have suspended face-to-face and online classes following spikes in case of COVID-19.

Schools have decided to suspend their academic calendars after a number of their students, teachers and other workers recently fell ill.

De La Salle University (DLSU) suspended both work (including work-from-home setup) and classes at all levels (online and in-person) across all of its campuses from January 10 to 15.

‘Health break’

A health survey of DLSU community members found that “nearly 60% of our community members are currently sick,” DLSU President Bernard Oca said in a statement.

At Ateneo de Manila University, elementary school students will have a “health break” from January 10-11. There will be no classes, but the offices will remain open.

No online classes would be held for Ateneo elementary and high school students from January 12-14, but teachers would post online learning materials and activities for students to complete during this time.

Other schools implementing academic breaks are as follows:

• Chiang Kai Shek College

• Marist School Marikina

• Miriam College

• Saint Pedro Poveda College • Paref Woodrose Muntinlupa School

• University of Women of the Philippines

• San Agustin Makati College

• Polytechnic University of the Philippines (all campuses)

• Concordia College

• San Beda Alabang College

• Xavier School

• Don Bosco Makati

• Lourdes School of Mandaluyong

• Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM), Far Eastern University (FEU)

The College of Nursing and College of Medicine of PLM have suspended their limited face-to-face classes until further notice, but their online classes will continue.

FEU said all of its classes will be online from Jan. 17 to Feb. 12.

Metro Manila and the neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal and Laguna have been placed under Alert Level 3 on the community quarantine five-level alert level system until January 15.

The provinces of Bataan, Batangas, Cagayan, Pampanga and Zambales also fall under alert level 3; and the cities of Baguio, Dagupan, Santiago, Angeles, Olangapo, Lucena, Naga, Iloilo and Lapu-Lapu.

In areas below Alert Level 3, face-to-face lessons are prohibited in preschool, elementary and secondary schools, while limited in-person lessons are permitted for colleges and technical and vocational schools.

The Ministry of Education (DepEd) said earlier that the pilot implementation of limited face-to-face lessons in areas below alert levels 1 and 2 would continue, as long as local governments and stakeholders would support the program.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said earlier the agency would postpone plans to expand in-person classes – particularly in Metro Manila – with more schools participating .

The health ministry asked DepEd to wait for its assessment on January 15, when the government decides on the next level of alert for different parts of the country.

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