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COVID-19 lockdowns leave some 9,000 students stranded in dorms: CHEd

Some 9,000 students are stranded in dormitories due to lockdowns meant to contain the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a survey of the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) showed.

The online poll of CHEd found that there were 9,367 students stuck in dormitories and schools across the country.

Details of the survey were included in President Rodrigo Duterte’s sixth weekly report to Congress on the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Many students were unable to go home to their provinces after the government hastily placed Metro Manila under community quarantine last March 15.

Two days later, the government expanded the lockdown to the rest of Luzon with mass public transportation suspended, and people told to stay indoors.

Classes in all levels and school activities nationwide were suspended in March as the government sought to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Aside from the stranded students, CHEd said another 1,229 students and educational workers abroad meanwhile are in need of repatriation.

CHEd Chairman Prospero De Vera III earlier said that the agency is monitoring the situation of stranded students.

“We are continuously monitoring the plight of stranded students all over the country and will assure their families that we will do everything to bring them home,” he said in a statement last week.

De Vera said CHEd has discussed with the government’s inter-agency task force on COVID-19 response opening classes in colleges and universities with “flexible” learning systems in August.

The task force has appealed to schools to consider moving the opening of classes to September as the country shifts to a “new normal.”


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