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More college programs eyed soon for limited face-to-face classes
In this January 2020 photo, students are seen wearing protective face masks have their temperatures taken while entering their college campus in Manila
AFP/Ted Aljibe

More college programs eyed soon for limited face-to-face classes

Christian Deiparine (Philstar.com) - May 18, 2021 - 4:43pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Higher Education on Tuesday bared that engineering and three other programs could be the next in its recommendation for limited in-person learning.

Face-to-face classes albeit limited for those in medical and health allied programs were given the go signal in February. The Duterte administration approved CHED's proposal as it said the training of health personnel should continue amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chairperson Prospero de Vera III said the additional programs securing approval would still depend if it shows that physical classes were effective in the initial ones.

"The next batch most probably will be engineering, information technology, industrial technology and maritime," he said. "These are degree programs where you have a lot of hands on activities that cannot be delivered virtually."

De Vera was speaking at a press briefing during CHED's 1st National Higher Education Day. There, he added that he will make the new proposal to President Rodrigo Duterte if data proves that students are safe and there is no virus transmission in the schools.

CHED has since cleared 60 higher educational institutions to hold limited face-to-face classes, more than a half from the 24 schools in late March.

"What is happening today is that the deans of engineering schools are already talking among themselves," De Vera said, partly in Filipino. "They are preparing and helping the commission draft the guidelines."

The CHED chief cited too that the University of the Philippines' College of Medicine in Manila and the Our Lady of Fatima University in Valenzuela had no reported cases in its first months of resumption.

Teaching and non-teaching staff in colleges and universities were moved up in the government's vaccine priority list at A4. 

In the same briefing, De Vera said the coronavirus task force will soon discuss if it would adopt the policy in other countries of vaccinating students as well. 

The development, if pushed through, would add to the chances of allowing more students to return to schools, amid difficulties prevailing from distance learning since it began last year. 

COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION DISTANCE LEARNING HIGHER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS PROSPERO DE VERA III
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