CLASSES from kindergarten to high school in all public and private schools in the province of Cebu will be suspended starting Monday, March 16, 2020.
Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia made the announcement during a multi-sectoral meeting at the Capitol on Friday, March 13, in relation to measures being undertaken to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“ARD (assistant regional director of the Department of Education 7) stated that next week is already slated for exams week so they have already thought up of contingency measures should a suspension of classes occur, which I have just declared so they can continue with the exams. The exams will be taken at home, and after that there will be no more classes,” Garcia said.
The governor said she could not yet declare a class suspension for the tertiary level considering that each university and college follows a different academic calendar.
In Cebu City, Mayor Edgardo Labella declared a two-week suspension of classes in all levels, both public and private, starting from March 16 to March 28.
Following a consultative meeting with various government agencies on Friday, Labella also issued an executive order mandating all schools to implement distance learning.
This means schools must provide homework and online classes to the students so that they can continue to fulfill their educational requirements.
Labella said they will continually assess if there is a need to extend the class suspension.
Meantime, Labella asked Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) officer-in-charge Engelbert Soriano to help monitor that students remain in their homes.
“The President directed the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) Secretary (Eduardo) Año to order Philippine National Police (PNP) officers to see to it that students who will not be at home during suspension of classes will be brought back to their home and parents,” said Labella.
In Mandaue City, Mayor Jonas Cortes announced an indefinite suspension of classes in all levels, both public and private, starting March 13 “until further notice.”
Aside from class suspension, all school activities including graduation rites and moving up ceremonies will be postponed as part of the Mandaue City government’s precautionary measures against the Covid-19.
“Also, citizens are further advised to practice daily preventive measures such as frequent hand washing, use of alcohol-based sanitizers, covering of mouth with tissue while coughing or sneezing, refraining from touching one’s face, staying at home when sick, seeking medical assistance during manifestation of symptoms, getting enough sleep, social distancing and eating a well balanced diet,” read the City’s announcement.
In Lapu-Lapu City, Mayor Junard Chan also declared a two-week suspension of classes in all levels for both public and private schools beginning Saturday, March 14 until March 28.
“Or until further notice because we might decide to extend it depending on what happens in the future,” Chan said in a mix of Cebuano and English.
In an interview with SunStar Cebu, Chan explained that most of the public schools in the city already had their final exams and so students may no longer need to go to school next week.
In Talisay City, Mayor Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas Jr. announced all exams in all public schools in the city will be conducted on Monday, March 16.
After this, there will be no more classes in Talisay, Gullas said in his Facebook page.
Gullas clarified that the order to hold exams on Monday does not include exams administered by the national government such as the Early Language Literacy Numeracy Assessment for Grade 4 students scheduled on March 17, the National Assessment Test for all Grade 7 students on March 19, and the Basic Education Exit Assessment Test for Grade 12 students set on March 25 and 26. (ANV, RTF, JJL, KFD, FVQ, JCT /RSC)