CHED Does Not Suspend Classes but Schools Can
The policy and protocol observed by CHED is: automatic suspension of classes in higher education with storm signal number 3. Otherwise the decision is left to school heads or local governments. (For reference, please see CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) 15 series of 2012 ) .
This policy has been a longstanding one and through regular review and consultation, it has been found to be the most workable and most acceptable to higher education institutions.
The current CHED policy must be understood in the light of several considerations:
- In the Philippines we have to deal with rain for six months out of the year. Education has to be delivered under these trying conditions. We have no choice but to live with and deal with heavy rains and their aftermath.
- College students who are young adults should be treated differently from elementary and high school students. Higher education institutions are also different from the basic education institutions which are mainly owned and managed by the Department of Education. HEIs have more autonomy and freedom to make decisions.
- The suspension of classes should be based on the situations in which schools find themselves. For instance, floods are usually localized and therefore suspension would be appropriate in some areas and not in others. In fact, some HEIs with multiple campuses suspend classes in affected campuses but not in others.
- Suspension of classes and the loss of class days affect some institutions more seriously than others due to different schedules. HEIs, faculty and students on a trimester system would be more likely to protest a centralized and unilateral suspension of classes to avoid the need for make up classes for the loss of required class days.
Thus, this CHED policy, while not perfect, is the most workable and best suited to the needs of higher education institutions, faculty and students. The Commission on Higher Education is continuously seeking ways to improve on the system and make it work better.