CHED to extend face-to-face learning to all degree programs in low-risk areas

Maris Federez   •   October 12, 2021   •   242

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is looking into the possibility of extending the face-to-face learning system to all degree programs in low-risk areas.

One of CHED’s bases in considering the said scheme is the high vaccination rate of its personnel, wherein 73 percent of its 1,488 teaching and non-teaching staff are already fully vaccinated.

According to CHED chairperson Prospero De Vera III, the infection rate among students and personnel has also decreased in schools that initially reopened for physical learning in medicine and allied health sciences courses.

“Pinag-aaralan na namin kung puwedeng payagan ang mga eskuwelahan na mag-limited face to face classes in all degree programs in areas that have very low COVID prevalence and very high vaccination rate,” De Vera said.

Currently, only courses such as medicine and health-allied, engineering, hospitality or hotel and restaurant management, tourism or travel management, and marine engineering and marine transportation were allowed to hold limited face-to-face classes in areas under modified general community quarantine.

More than 300 universities were given the go signal to hold physical classes with 21,000 students and 1,000 faculty members allowed to join the in-person learning.

“Titingnan natin doon sa next batch na mga degree programs kung ligtas pa rin ang mga estudyante at mga guro at baka papayagan din sila kahit na medyo ristricted area pa yung kanilang lugar,” De Vera said.

“Magiging dalawa ‘yung face-to-face, by degree program and possibly by geographical area,” he added.

De Vera further said that even if the holding of limited face-to-face classes in all courses will be approved by the national government, they will still abide by whatever the decision of local governments will be.

CHED said it continues to strengthen its immunization rollout among students and school personnel through the series of vaccination caravan scheduled for the coming days. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Janice Ingente)

CHED rolls out vaccination of student-athletes in Metro Manila universities

Maris Federez   •   October 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The government has started the rollout of vaccination among student-athletes in Metro Manila universities.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said this is part of their preparation in case face-to-face classes, physical training, and sports activities in universities will finally be allowed amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

CHED said around 300 student-athletes at the college level have received their first dose of the anti-COVID-19 vaccine.

University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) president Emmanuel Calanog said they will be pushing for the restaging of the basketball league this coming February 2022.

They plan to start training and other activities in November to prepare their athletes for the league.

“That’s November, December, January. We have about three and a half months for them to train to get back to competition to be able to start in February. Yung volleyball naman ang target namin doon is after holy week. So, there is more time. More or less, that’s the schedule. And, of course, what the government will allow at that time,” Calanog said.

He added that basketball and volleyball players in their member schools are already 100 percent vaccinated, and all they are waiting for is the approval of the government for them to resume sports activities.

Member schools, Calanog added, have also conducted retrofitting and adjustment of sports facilities.

Meanwhile, CHED chairperson Prospero De Vera III said they are now preparing the guidelines to be implemented in sports activities in colleges and universities.

“Ngayong marami na ang bakuna, mababa-vaccniate na yung mga estudyante, mga athletes. The only thing we have to do is to tweak the guidelines given these circumstances now,” De Vera said.

“Noong kinrop (crop) yung policy konti pa lang ang bakuna. Ngayong madami na, iba na yung context ng guidelines. So, the guidelines have to be rewritten,” he added.

NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said 100 percent of student-athletes must be fully vaccinated before the government gives its approval for the resumption of training activities.

“I suggest talagang kailangang ma-vaccinate na natin ng first dose yung lahat ng mga athletes before the end of October para yung second dosing natin we can finish by November. You can start already yung mga practices ninyo,” Galvez said.

“I-encourage na talagang ngayon month maximize na natin talagang bakunahan na natin lahat ng mga athletes so that we can start early the training,” he added.

The NTF and the Department of Education (DepEd), on the other hand, have agreed to intensify the vaccination rollout among teaching and non-teaching personnel at elementary and secondary levels.

DepEd has prepared the list of teachers and school personnel to be submitted to the IATF for the inoculation drive.

“Nakipagpulong ang kagawaran sa NTF, yung vaccination task force ng gobyerno, para ma-accelerate yung vaccination ng ating teachers at ibang school personnel,” said DepEd Director Roger Masapol. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Janice Ingente)

CHED eyes limited physical classes in all degree programs in COVID low-risk areas

Robie de Guzman   •   October 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is looking into the possibility of expanding the limited face-to-face classes to all degree programs in areas that have low COVID-19 prevalence and high vaccination rates.

“Kung mababa ang risk level, mataas ang vaccination rate, both within the school and within the community, facilities are retrofitted, and local government is on board, then we can now look at the possibility of limited face-to-face in all degree program,” CHED chairperson Prospero De Vera III said.

De Vera said they are coordinating with experts on the crafting of the proposed guidelines.

They are looking to start this program in the first quarter of 2022, in time for the opening of the second semester for the Academic Year 2021-2022.

“Ang target naman natin ng high vaccination rate is until December, so we have time to craft the guidelines. So, maybe ang target natin diyan, you know to put it on board is maybe early next year,” De Vera said.

At present, the government is only allowing limited face-to-face classes in medicine and allied health sciences.

It was recently expanded to five other degree programs – Engineering and Technology, Hospitality/Hotel and Restaurant Management, Tourism/Travel Management, Marine Engineering, and Marine. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

More college programs allowed to hold limited physical classes – CHED

Robie de Guzman   •   September 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The government has allowed more college programs to resume face-to-face classes, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said.

In a statement, CHED Chairperson Prospero de Vera said President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the commission’s request for the expansion of limited in-person learning to other degree programs that require hands-on experience in higher education institutions (HEI) in areas classified under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

De Vera said the following college programs are now allowed to hold limited physical classes:

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

Prior to this development, only students in medicine and allied health courses were permitted by the government to conduct limited in-person classes.

“The Commission thanks President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for the approval of limited face-to-face classes for the said programs in order to contribute to the efforts to boost the economic recovery of the country, as this will directly affect human resource development,” De Vera said.

“Based on the data we gathered on the ground, there is a small percentage of students and faculty members who were affected by COVID-19. I’m convinced that it is safe to hold face-to-face classes and it can be expanded to cover other degree programs,” he added.

De Vera said he is in talks with National Task Force (NTF) chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. for proposals to vaccinate all faculty, staff and students to add “another layer of protection to our face-to-face classes.”

“Some of our HEIs have completed the vaccination of their employees and students. We aim to do it for other HEIs as more vaccines arrive,” De Vera said.

“We assure our students, parents and faculty that holding in-person classes is safe. Our guidelines are strict,” he added.

HEIs intending to have limited face-to-face classes as part of their flexible learning policy may now apply for authority with CHED Regional Offices concerned, De Vera said.

Aside from several college programs, Duterte recently approved the pilot test of face-to-face classes in basic education in selected areas as part of plans to gradually reopen schools amid the pandemic.

Schools have been closed for more than a year and students shifted to flexible learning due to the threat of COVID-19.

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