CHED examines effects of online classes on students’ study habits

Marje Pelayo   •   September 16, 2020   •   4949

MANILA, Philippines – Chairperson Prospero De Vera of the Commission on Higher Education supports the recommendation of House Deputy Speaker Dan Fernandez that there should be an established guideline on the conduct of online classes. 

During the House hearing on CHED’s proposed budget for 2021 on Wednesday (September 16), Fernandez expressed his concern over students’ lack of focus during online classes.

He cited his own child as an example. 

Nakikinig siya (habang) kumakain. Nagkukwentuhan kami and I asked him “Ano ba iyang pinakikinggan mo?” sabi ko sa anak ko. Sabi niya sa akin “Dad, nag-o-online class ako,” Fernandez narrated.

[He was listening while eating. We were chatting and I asked him: “What is it that you’re listening to?” He answered: “Dad, I’m having an online class.”]

The lawmaker worries how students will be able to learn when surrounded by so many distractions at home.

What should every student feel, Fernandez said, is similar to what it is like in a classroom setting. 

“Is it possible na maging mandatory na kapag ang Zoom classes ay isang oras yan, isang oras naka video in yung ating mga estudyante? [Is it possible to require students to have their videos on during the one hour classes on Zoom?” he asked CHED.

De Vera, for his part, supports Fernandez on his observation.

He agreed to a thorough study on the effects of technology to students’ behaviour and values as well as their health. 

May mga pag aaral na kapag pinilit mo ang bata, dalawa o tatlong oras, may epekto din sa kalusugan niya [There are studies which suggest that if you force a student into two or three hours (of online class), there are definite effects in his health]. So we have to adjust all of this, ” De Vera said.

Meanwhile, CHED has started preparing for the possible resumption of face-to-face classes or physical classroom setting should it be allowed next year. 

The agency is now looking for a model school which facilities and health protocols can be replicated in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

But since physical classes are still restricted, CHED is demanding an explanation from a school in Isabela for starting face-to-face classes in August which resulted in one student contracting COVID-19.

Authorities are now tracing all 45 other students who had close contact with the patient.

“Many of the universities are moving their classes that need laboratories, need OJT, putting that requirement in the second semester in anticipation of allowing limited face to face in low risk and GCQ areas. But as of now, nobody is allowed to do face-to-face classes,” de vera said.

For 2021, CHED proposed an up to P50.928-B budget, a P3-B increase from the agency’s current budget.

To date CHED recorded about 3.4 million students enrolled both in private and public colleges and universities, at least 1.33 million of them are scholars.

Based on CHED’s data, about 76% of the 112 state colleges and universities (SUCs) have already opened, while 21% is set to open in October. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo) 

Universities offer facilities to serve as vaccination sites

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Several universities have offered their facilities to be used as vaccination sites for local government units (LGUs).

According to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the agency and the Union of the Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) are collaborating with 17 public and private higher education institutions (HEIs) in establishing additional vaccination centers inside school premises.

The 17 HEIs that offered their facilities to serve as vaccination sites of local government units are:

  1. Our Lady of Fatima University – Valenzuela
  2. Manila Central University
  3. University of Perpetual Help System Dalta – Las Piñas Campus
  4. De La Salle University – Dasmariñas
  5. St. Louis University
  6. Central Philippine University
  7. West Visayas State University
  8. OLFU- San Fernando, Pampanga
  9. University of Baguio
  10. Benguet State University
  11. University of Cebu
  12. University of Perpetual Help – Dr. Jose G. Tamayo Medical University
  13. OLFU-Quezon City
  14. De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute
  15. Notre Dame Kidapawan College
  16. North Valley College Foundation
  17. Cotabato Medical Foundation

CHED Chairman J. Prospero E. De Vera III said that more HEIs have signified their interest to become vaccination sites.

“These HEIs have been inspected by the CHED, the local IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force), and LGUs so we are sure that the proper health protocols, retrofitting of facilities, and the requirements for safety are already being implemented by these universities. These HEIs also have big facilities like gymnasiums that can be used for vaccination. They have the necessary health personnel who can assist in the vaccination drive,” De Vera said. AAC

Gatchalian opposes calls for nationwide academic break amid pandemic

Robie de Guzman   •   April 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Monday expressed disagreement with proposals to implement a nationwide academic break amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying the decision for such measure should come from basic education and higher education institutions.

In a statement, Gatchalian said poor and vulnerable learners will only be left behind due to additional disruptions that the nationwide academic break will bring.

He also said that prolonged school closures may result in learning loss, widening inequalities, and increased exposure to violence, among others.

“I don’t agree with the call to implement a nationwide academic break. Iba-iba naman ang quarantine qualification at may mga lugar na walang lockdown. Mahirap naman pong mag-academic freeze sa isang lugar na walang kaso ng COVID-19. Kaya hindi pwede itong academic freeze para sa pangkalahatan dahil iba-iba ang sitwasyon,” said Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate committee on basic education.

“Sa basic education, isang taon nang hindi nagpupunta sa mga eskwelahan ang mga bata at kapag sila ay patuloy na bibigyan ng break at hindi sila mag-aaral, talagang makakalimutan na nila ang kanilang pinag-aralan,” he added.

The senator pointed out that in Isabela, which is currently under general community quarantine, the Department of Education (DepEd) suspended the distribution and retrieval of self-learning modules and other face-to-face activities after five DepEd personnel recently died due to COVID-19.

Teachers in the division, however, are expected to remotely continue their follow-ups and monitoring of learners, according to Gatchalian.

Meanwhile, some colleges and universities in the National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna – called ‘NCR Plus’ – already suspended classes or implemented academic ease measures due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases. These include the University of Santo Tomas, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Cavite State University, and De La Salle University.

While the NCR Plus is now under modified enhanced community quarantine until the end of the month, Gatchalian pointed out that most of the country is under general community quarantine and modified general community quarantine, where the implementation of distance or flexible learning can still continue.


Limited in-person classes in some schools in NCR Plus temporarily suspended – CHED

Robie de Guzman   •   March 31, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The conduct of limited face-to-face classes in select higher education institutions (HEI) has been temporarily suspended amid the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said.

During the Laging Handa public briefing on Tuesday, CHED Commissioner Prospero de Vera III said HEIs that were allowed to conduct limited in-person classes, especially those in areas that were under the enhanced community quarantine, have temporarily canceled their physical classes.

A total of 24 universities and colleges nationwide offering allied health science courses have been allowed to hold limited face-to-face classes following the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte in January.

But De Vera clarified that HEIs in the National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna have already suspended their limited in-person classes since these are classified as COVID-19 high incidence areas.

The NCR and four nearby areas – collectively tagged as NCR Plus – are under ECQ until April 4.

Some HEIs even pulled out their clinical interns before there was a surge in COVID-19 cases.

“Bago pa mag-issue ang IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force] nitong ECQ, ay actually itinigil na nila,” he said.

“Unang-una, binawi nila yung mga estudyante galing sa mga ospital dahil yang mga ospital mismo eh nagsabi na mataas na ang incidence ng COVID at hindi masyadong ligtas ang mga batang pumunta doon si pinull-out na nila yung clinical interns nila even before tumaas, nagsisimula tumaas yung COVID cases,” he added.

In low-risk areas, on the other hand, De Vera said limited in-person classes are still ongoing.

“At dito sa NCR, lahat noong limited face-to-face ay nakatigil habang kinu-control natin ang virus. Pero sa ibang mga lugar sa Pilipinas na hindi naman naka-ECQ, doon ay mayroon pang limited face-to-face (classes),” he said.

De Vera said that based on the joint guidelines issued by CHED and the Department of Health, the conduct of limited in-person classes will be suspended if the cases of COVID-19 in those areas continue to increase or if a student contracts the virus.

“Ang guidelines nito eh ‘pag may nag-positive sa mga estudyante, automatic, itinitigil ang limited face to face. Hindi question ang kung ilan, kung meron, automatic ititigil. Yan ang guidelines,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)


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