The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) said on Wednesday it had directed colleges and universities to reschedule internships and laboratory courses to the second semester of Academic Year 2020-2021.

“I-delay natin hanggang January at uutusan natin ‘yung mga universities na lahat nung subjects na may lab, OJT (on-the-job training), internship, etcetera, i-reschedule nila sa second semester,” CHEd Chairman Prospero de Vera III said during President Rodrigo Duterte’s public address with Cabinet officials.

De Vera said that for the first semester, “theoretical” or lecture-based subjects that would not require a face-to-face learning delivery would be taught.

Limited physical classes for laboratory subjects and internships may be permitted in areas under modified general community quarantine, the CHEd chief hinted.

“So the options will be, from the more open, limited face-to-face [interactions] in low-risk MGCQ areas, to the most conservative — do it in second semester,” he said.

In the same meeting, de Vera said some colleges had reached out to CHEd about closing down due underwhelming enrollment numbers.

“Mayroon na pong ilang eskuwelahan na nagsabi sa CHEd na magsasara sila dahil ‘yung enrollment ay talagang bumaba, natatakot ang mga magulang at estudyante, at mayroon na hong ilan na nag-report sa CHEd,” de Vera said.

CHEd has yet to craft a policy on Covid-forced closures, he said.

“Ang problema ho wala kaming policy sa pagsara kasi itong Covid ay hindi pa nangyari sa matagal na panahon, so we are only crafting it,” de Vera said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro