Mayor: No suspension of classes in Cebu City

THERE will be no suspension of classes in Cebu City.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella made the announcement after he had a meeting with all the private school heads in the city, Thursday evening, March 12, 2020 at the Marco Polo Hotel.

Labella said schools should continue implementing the precautionary measures like checking the temperature of the students and the teachers in entering the school, putting alcohol and sanitizers in strategic places inside the school premises, and constant monitoring of the students.

Labella also emphasized he believes that the schools “knew their students better and what’s best for them.”

“I personally don’t want to suspend classes. I trust the schools and the teachers can take care of the children,” he said.

“I prefer that classes will continue because with that, we are sure that the students are well taken care of because if we suspend it, we are not sure that the students will stay at their respective houses,” he continued.

He left the decision to the respective school heads of the private schools.

Should the situation will get worse, it will be the time the City Government will intervene, he said.

Commission on Higher Education (Ched) Supervising Education Program Specialist Josefino Ronquillo said the private schools were given academic freedom.

“We believe that they can do it and schools have to make some arrangement,” said Ronquillo.

Around 50 private schools and universities in Cebu attended the meeting on Thursday.

Among these were representatives of the University of San Jose-Recoletos, University of San Carlos, Southwestern University-Phinma, University of Cebu, Bright Academy, Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, and Cebu Institute of Technology-University.

Among the concerns raised by the administrators of private schools include matters on graduation rites (for those schools which school year will end this March) and the set up to be followed for the last quarter exams for schools which school year will end on May and June.

A representative from the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, shared that their would-be graduation this March 14, would be the shortest graduation they will be having.

He said there will be no speeches during the graduation and students will already be holding their diplomas during the start of the ceremony. After the conferment of the graduates, the school’s alma mater hymn will be played and will be followed by a short pictorial.

Likewise, Cristito Eco, Department of Education (DepEd)-Central Visayas assistant regional director, said in no case that there will be no exam because of Covid-19.

“We encourage the schools to do it in staggered days. Do not conduct the test at the same time nga dungan ang entire population,” he said.

The final examination for those schools which will end their classes in June was initially scheduled on April 15-18.

However, for those who opts to do it earlier, DepEd will not stop them, he added. (JJL, WBS)