LIST: CHED allows 24 colleges, universities to re-open for limited face-to-face classes

Marje Pelayo   •   March 26, 2021   •   814

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 24 higher education institutions (HEIs) all over the country can now hold limited face-to-face classes effective the 2nd Semester of AY 2020-2021.

Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman Prospero De Vera III said in a statement on Friday (March 26), the 24 HEIs “have fully complied with the CHED-DOH guidelines and have been inspected by CHED and their LGUs” and so “they can now bring their 3rd and 4th year students for hands-on training and laboratory classes in a limited face-to-face system.”

“CHED will continue to monitor these HEIs and I am confident that they will provide safe and healthy spaces for their students in the coming months,” said De Vera added.

The following HEIs passed stringent retrofitting and health standards imposed by CHED, the Department of Health (DOH) and the COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID):

Mariano Marcos State University – Batac (Region I)
St. Louis University (CAR)
Our Lady of Fatima University – City of San Fernando (Region III)
Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health (NCR)
University of the Philippines, Manila (NCR)
University of Santo Tomas (NCR)
University of East Ramon Magsaysay (NCR)
Our Lady of Fatima University – Quezon City (NCR)
Our Lady of Fatima University – Valenzuela City (NCR)
Manila Central University (NCR)
Adventist University of the Philippines (Region IV)
De La Salle Health and Medical Science Institute (Region IV)
University of Perpetual Help – Don Jose (Region IV)
Our Lady of Fatima University – Sta. Rosa (Region IV)
Naga College Foundation (Region V)
West Visayas State University (Region VI)
Central Philippine University (Region VI)
Cebu Institute of Medicine (Region VII)
University of Cebu School of Medicine (Region VII)
Iloilo Doctors’ College of Medicine (Region VI)
University of Iloilo (Region VI)
Blancia Foundation College, Inc. (Region IX)
Xavier University (Region X)
Liceo de Cagayan University (Region X)

De Vera explained that selected allied health-related degree programs were prioritized to conduct limited face-to-face classes for two major reasons: (1) to enable students to achieve key learning outcomes on specialized laboratory courses and hospital-based clinical clerkship/internship/practicum and (2) to provide additional manpower to the country’s health system.

These allied health-related degrees include Medicine, Nursing, Medical Technology/Medical Laboratory Science, Physical Therapy, Midwifery, and Public Health.

Since these schools have retrofitted facilities and are safe spaces, six HEIs have partnered with their local government by allowing their facilities to serve as vaccination centers during the first wave of vaccinations:

1. University of Santo Tomas Hospital (NCR)
2. Manila Central University Gymnasium (NCR)
3. St. Louis University Baguio Gymansium (CAR)
4. De La Salle Medical Health Sciences Institute (Region 4)
5. Our Lady of Fatima University (NCR)
6. Central Philippine University (CPU)

“We are encouraging the other HEIs to also offer their facilities as the country gears for expanded vaccination of senior citizens, essential workers, teachers and government personnel starting the 2nd quarter of the year. In return, we ask the LGUs to include the HEI faculty, staff and students who are assisting in the vaccination drive in their vaccination list so they can assist their LGUs,” De Vera said.

“This is also the reason why President Duterte approved limited face-to-face classes – because our HEIs can help in the government’s vaccination program,” he added.

De Vera said that CHED is now preparing the Guidelines for Establishing Vaccination Centers in HEIs with inputs from the CHED Public Health Experts Group (PHEG). These guidelines will be discussed with the LGUs and IATF and can be used in ensuring more vaccination centers for the government.

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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