CHED: Limited face-to-face classes allowed in select non-medical programs

CHED: Limited face-to-face classes allowed in select non-medical programs
FILE - In this March 9, 2020 photo, school workers disinfect a classroom amid the novel coronavirus threat in the country.
The STAR / Boy Santos, file

MANILA, Philippines — Students in more higher education programs may soon be joining limited face-to-face classes after President Rodrigo Duterte authorized 
these for some degree programs that require hands-on experience, the Commission on Higher Education said Tuesday.

The government had previously allowed some medical and health-related programs to hold classroom sessions, subject to pandemic precautions.

CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera III said the Palace has allowed face-to-face classes in the following programs as well:

  • Engineering and Technology programs
  • Hospitality/ Hotel and Restaurant Management
  • Tourism/ Travel Management
  • Marine Engineering
  • Marine Transportation

Schools that want to hold face-to-face classes, which will only be allowed in areas under Modified General Community Quarantine, will need to apply for authority from CHED Regional Offices.

De Vera said CHED presented data to the pandemic task force to show that measures like retrofitting campuses, putting up Crisis Management Committees and coordinating with local government units "were effective in ensuring the achievement of the competencies of students/graduates without compromising their safety."

He said that, based on CHED monitoring, "there is a small percentage of students and faculty members who were affected by COVID-19" but that he is "convinced that it is safe to hold face-to-face classes and it can be expanded to cover other degree programs."

The Department of Education is planning a pilot test of a limited return to classroom learning in 100 schools in "low-risk" areas.

No date has been set for the start of the pilot run but the department has already issued guidelines for it.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: September 28, 2021 - 8:13pm

Follow this thread for updates on when classes will resume, and how those classes will be conducted.

Photo: Students wearing protective face masks have their temperatures taken while entering their college campus in Manila on January 31, 2020. AFP/Ted Aljibe

September 28, 2021 - 8:13pm

President Rodrigo Duterte has authorized limited face-to-face classes for the following programs: 

  1. Engineering and Technology programs
  2. Hospitality/ Hotel and Restaurant Management
  3. Tourism/ Travel Management
  4. Marine Engineering
  5. Marine Transportation

Commission on Higher Education Chairman Popoy De Vera, who made the announcement, said the authorization applies to "degree programs that require hands-on experience in higher education institutions under Modified General Community Quarantine."

September 27, 2021 - 3:32pm

WHO Philippines says it applauds the government's decision to approve the pilot run of limited face-to-face classes in low-risk areas.

Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, WHO representative in the Philippines, says they will continue to work with the government, particularly the DepEd and DOH, to support safe in-person learning.

"very child has the right to education, & schools are central to children’s development, safety, & well-being. Prolonged school closures have a significant impact on their physical & mental health development, and their skills attainment and career prospects," Abeyasinghe says.

September 26, 2021 - 3:09pm

Father-of-two Shkelqim Kameni took his children out of school because of Austria's strict COVID testing for pupils and his opposition to the vaccine.

The 28-year-old shop manager from the western city of Salzburg is among a sharp rise in parents opting to homeschool instead.

Even weeks before the new school year started this month, the divisive issue garnered media coverage and has provoked heated exchanges online between parents.

Speaking to AFP at an anti-vaccine demonstration, Kameni said he was afraid that rigorous Covid testing created too much pressure in the classroom.

"Probably a child (who tests positive) will be mobbed... it's psychological abuse of children; it's child abuse," he said at the rally in downtown Vienna this month, attended by thousands.

More than 7,500 children have been withdrawn from school for this academic year, the education ministry says. — AFP

September 20, 2021 - 12:15pm

A return to classroom learning in some schools is closer to happening, with presidential spokesperson Harry Roque saying the government has authorized face-to-face classes in areas where there is minimal risk of COVID-19 transmission.

The Department of Health and the Department of Education will assess the areas for potential pilot classes. Pilot classes will also need the endorsement of the local government unit and of parents and guardians of the learners who will be involved.

September 13, 2021 - 12:18pm

Classrooms in the Philippines were silent Monday as millions of school children hunkered down at home for a second year of remote lessons that experts fear will worsen an educational "crisis".

While nearly every country in the world has partially or fully reopened schools to in-person classes, the Philippines has kept them closed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the UN says.

President Rodrigo Duterte has so far rejected proposals for a pilot reopening of primary and secondary schools for fear children could catch COVID-19 and infect elderly relatives. 

"I want to go to school," seven-year-old Kylie Larrobis told AFP, complaining she cannot read after a year of online kindergarten in the tiny slum apartment in Manila she shares with six people.  

"I don't know what a classroom looks like — I've never seen one." 

Larrobis, who enters first grade this year, cries in frustration when she cannot understand her online lessons, which she follows on a smartphone, said her mother, Jessielyn Genel. 

Her misery is compounded by a ban on children playing outdoors. — AFP

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