CHED: 73 schools now allowed to hold limited face-to-face classes
This June 2021 photo shows medicine students at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila conducting their limited in-person classes.
Release/The Varsitarian UST/Michael Cuevas

CHED: 73 schools now allowed to hold limited face-to-face classes

(Philstar.com) - June 16, 2021 - 4:01pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Higher Education on Wednesday said 73 colleges and universities across the country have been cleared for limited physical classes to date, with more institutions seeking approval.

The government in February approved the resumption of in-person learning at a limited capacity for students in medical and health-allied programs, citing the need for the training of health personnel to continue amid the pandemic.

CHED chairperson Prospero de Vera III told a Laging Handa briefing that the 73 schools were allowed after passing standards by set by the agency, the pandemic task force, and their local governments.

"Others have already started," he said in Filipino. "Some are in the middle of their semester and the rest will start this upcoming school year...there are also others in line for inspection."

Schools that have resumed classes have generally reported zero COVID-19 infections so far, De Vera said. But one incident has been reported in Eastern Visayas, with CHED and university officials investigating what may have been the cause.

"If compliance to guidelines set by CHED and DOH along with health protocols will really be monitored, then students will be safe in our face-to-face classes," he added.

In May, the CHED chief reported that the agency is looking to propose more programs for limited physical classes specifically for those that require more hands-on learning.

De Vera said they are now crafting guidelines for the said programs, with schools also preparing to retrofit their facilities. 

Other schools are also running online surveys to identify which programs will be proposed to CHED.

"After they agree on it, they will take it to the commission for us to study," he added, still in Filipino. "What is critical here is to choose the subjects that cannot be done virtually...deans and school administrators have to agree and then we will check their recommendation."

Programs allowed so far on limited classes apart from medicine are nursing, medical technology, physical theraphy, midwifery and public health. Only those 20 years old and above, or are in their third or fourth year, can participate in the face-to-face classes.

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