CHED allows 24 colleges, universities to hold limited face-to-face classes

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 26) — The Commission on Higher Education has given the go signal for 24 colleges and universities across the country to implement limited face-to-face classes beginning the second semester of academic year 2020-2021.

In a statement Friday, the agency said these institutions "have fully complied with the CHED-DOH (Department of Health) guidelines and have been inspected by CHED and their LGUs (local government units) 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."

The schools are:

National Capital Region

- Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health

- University of Santo Tomas

- University of East Ramon Magsaysay

- Our Lady of Fatima University - Quezon City

- Our Lady of Fatima University - Valenzuela City

- Manila Central University

- University of the Philippines-Manila

Ilocos Region

- Mariano Marcos State University - Batac

Cordillera Administrative Region

- St. Louis University

Central Luzon

- Our Lady of Fatima University - City of San Fernando

CALABARZON

- Adventist University of the Philippines

- De La Salle Health and Medical Science Institute

- University of Perpetual Help - Don Jose

- Our Lady of Fatima University - Sta. Rosa

Bicol Region

- Naga College Foundation

Western Visayas

- West Visayas State University

- Central Philippine University

- Iloilo Doctors’ College of Medicine

- University of Iloilo

Central Visayas

- Cebu Institute of Medicine

- University of Cebu School of Medicine

Zamboanga Peninsula

- Blancia Foundation College, Inc.

Northern Mindanao

- Xavier University

- Liceo de Cagayan University

The list does not include institutions like the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila - College of Medicine, which was earlier approved by the Manila City government to conduct limited face-to-face classes.

CHED said selected allied health-related courses like Medicine, Nursing, Medical Technology/Medical Laboratory Science, Physical Therapy, Midwifery, and Public Health, were prioritized "to enable students to achieve key learning outcomes on specialized laboratory courses and hospital-based clinical clerkship/internship/practicum and to provide additional manpower to the country's health system."

CHED chair Prospero De Vera said they will continue to monitor these higher education institutions (HEIs) to ensure they provide safe and healthy spaces for their students.

In an interview with CNN Philippines' News.PH, De Vera said schools will have to consult the matter with parents and students. This is also not mandatory, so they have to have an alternative way for those who will choose not to physically attend classes, he added.

When asked whether face-to-face classes can still be implemented amid the surge in COVID-19 cases, De Vera said this can still push through since there are some areas that can control the level of infections.

Allowing resumption of in-person classes, especially for subjects that cannot be done virtually, will ensure the country will have medical professional graduates, he added.

De Vera also assured the safety of students as the schools are compliant with the country's health standards.

Meanwhile, six other HEIs also partnered with their local governments to use their facilities as vaccination centers, namely University of Santo Tomas Hospital, Manila Central University Gymnasium, St. Louis University Baguio Gymansium, De La Salle Medical Health Sciences Institute, Our Lady of Fatima University, and Central Philippine University.

De Vera said they are now preparing the guidelines for the establishment of vaccination centers in HEIs that will be discussed with the LGUs and the National Task Force against COVID-19.

He is also encouraging other schools to do the same as the country prepares for the expanded vaccination program in the second quarter. In return, he is asking LGUs to include school personnel and students helping in the implementation of the program in their local vaccination list.

Early this year, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the resumption of limited in-person classes in medical and allied health programs in HEIs in areas under the general community quarantine and modified GCQ areas.