CHEd issues show-cause order vs Isabela Colleges for holding in-person class meeting

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 16) — The Commission on Higher Education has issued a show cause order against Isabela Colleges, Inc. after a student who tested positive for COVID-19 attended a face-to-face class orientation.

CHED chair Prospero de Vera confirmed in a budget hearing at the House of Representatives on Wednesday that the college had been ordered to stop its face-to-face classes after holidng an on-campus orientation for post-Baccalaureate students last month.

"As of now, no one is allowed to do face-to-face classes. That's why the college in Isabela, we ordered them to stop and we issued a show cause order for them to explain why they should not be penalized," he said.

The student reportedly from a private school in the city of Cauayan in Isabela province had attended the orientation for students enrolled in a second degree last August 29. The student is an employee of the city government taking a professional education course.

In a separate statement, CHEd said that city health officials were tracing up to 45 people that the student had contact with following the incident.

Isabela Colleges was given ten days to explain why its officials should not face sanctions for their failure to comply with CHED's advisories and the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

During the hearing, De Vera said they his office is still considering limited in-person classes in areas under low-risk modified general community quarantine.

"We have completed the guidelines for possible limited face-to-face classes in low-risk MGCQ areas starting January," De Vera said, noting that consultations will still be made with local government units, as well as public and private universities.

In May, CHED issued an advisory prohibiting mass gatherings in higher educational institutions, including in-person graduation ceremonies and other school activities until the prohibition for mass gathering is limited.