Higher Education Commission Chairman Prospero de Vera 3. THE MANILA TIMES FILE PHOTO
THE Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) has announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has approved face-to-face teaching in all university degree programs (HEIs) in areas with Alert Level 2 status or changed general community quarantine (MGCQ ) in other areas.
However, these will only be used to a maximum of 50 percent to ensure that the health and safety protocols are strictly followed by the schools.
“First, students and teachers have to be vaccinated [against the Covid-19]. Second, there is approval or support from the local administrative unit (LGU) in which the university is involved, and third, the school facilities need to be upgraded for limited classroom teaching, ”explained CHEd chairman Prospero de Vera 3.
He stressed that facilities need to be inspected and approved by the Commission.
To ensure that the guidelines for implementation in areas of Warning Level 2 are clear, the CHEd has developed more detailed guidelines that must be followed by any higher education institution that will conduct face-to-face events with limited capacity.
“CHEd will be issuing more detailed guidelines. The technical people and experts have been meeting for about two weeks now and will submit the proposed guidelines en banc to the Commission early next week and we will publish them shortly afterwards,” he added.
However, De Vera assured students and parents that attending face-to-face classes will not be compulsory and those who have decided to opt out can continue with the flexible learning modality, which is both face-to-face and virtual (synchronous and asynchronous). Learning modes.
He also reminded colleges to consult their students and parents before deciding on their suggestion to opt for face-to-face teaching and that students and faculty members who will attend will have an additional safety net with the Philippine Health Insurance Corp in the event that that they contracted the virus.
“Those who have not been vaccinated can continue with the flexible learning setup that combines either online and offline. That remains as an option for the universities, who decide which will attend face-to-face events and who will continue online or offline. “Options,” he said in mixed English and Filipino.
The vaccination of university students was supported by the CHEd. It even sponsored a vaccination campaign at school to give students a more comfortable experience as schools already have a master list of all students eligible for their Covid-19 vaccinations.
With the first group of students taking face-to-face classes – those taking medical and related health classes – CHEd reported that only 0.3 percent of students were infected with the virus, while only 0.7 percent of faculty members were positive for Covid-19 have been tested. It was also highlighted that no cases of hospitalizations or deaths were reported among those infected.