MANILA, Philippines — Several colleges are now on the verge of closing due to the very low number of enrollees for the coming school year, according to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
In the press briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte, CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera reported the problem that these college institutions and local governments are facing for the coming school year.
“Humihingi po ng guidance yung mga private schools in particular tsaka local governments kasi hindi po nila alam ang gagawin lalo na sa mga area na wala po talagang internet connection [The private schools, in particular, and the local governments are asking for guidance as they do not know what to do, especially in areas where there is no internet connection],” Chairman de Vera said.
“Meron na pong ilang eskwelahan ang nagsabi sa CHED na magsasara sila dahil yung enrollment po ay talagang mababa. Natatakot po yung mga magulang at mga estudyante [Several schools already told CHED that they are closing because their enrollment is really low],” he added.
De Vera also admitted that they do not have a ready guideline for these learning institutes that are closing as this is just the first time that the commission has experienced a pandemic.
De Vera, however, reported the commission’s plan to offer the subjects that need personal appearance, such as laboratories, on the job trainings, and internships in January or the second semester of the school year.
Lectures that may be done online, on the other hand, will be offered in the first semester.
“The options will be from the more open limited face to face in low-risk MGCQ areas to the most conservative. Do it sa (in the) second semester,” de Vera said.
Meanwhile, the National Action Plan Against COVID-19 will conduct an inspection in areas that are now under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) for possible limited face-to-face classes.
NTF Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr said they will look into the compliance of schools on the set health protocols.
Galvez said playgrounds will be closed, and buffet setup will not be allowed in school canteen and cafeterias as these areas are believed to be where viruses, such as COVID-19 breed and easily spread.
They will also check on the provision of separate entry and exit points of schools, as well as, a possible limit of 10 students per classroom set-up, in case face to face classes will be allowed.
“Yan po ang recommendation ko, Mr.President. If we will really decide na magkaroon tayo ng 10 per classroom, tingnan po natin po yung mga strategies natin na magkakaroon po o makikita natin na mga 96% walang transmission or even 100% na ma-ensure natin na magkakaroon po tayo ng redundant preventive measures para hindi po tayo magkaroon ng transmission,” Galvez said.
[That is my recommendation, Mr. President. If we will decide to have 10 per classroom, let’s look at our strategies to come up with 96% no transmission, r\or even 100%. That we can ensure that we will have redundant preventive measures so that we will no have transmission.]
Secretary Galvez also proposed to the President to have private school students who stay in dormitories to undergo swab testing to check if they are COVID-free or not.—(from the report of Joan Nano) /mbmf
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)
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has issued a show-cause order to Isabela Colleges for holding face-to-face classes amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
CHED chairperson Prospero De Vera III said the college has been ordered to stop its in-person meetings as this clearly violates the guidelines being implemented by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).
The order was issued following a report that a student tested positive for COVID-19 and that he attended an on-campus orientation in August for its post-Baccalaureate students.
De Vera said city health officials were tracing up to 45 contacts of the said student.
Isabela Colleges was given ten days to explain why no sanctions should be imposed on its officials for their failure to comply with CHED advisories and the IATF guidelines. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)
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