Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chairperson Prospero de Vera III on Monday said limited face-to-face classes of higher education institutions in areas under Alert Level 2 could begin this coming December.
De Vera said this is to ensure the safe reopening of campuses of HEIs for limited face-to-face classes for all programs.
“We are targeting initially all regions under Alert Level 2 to start by December and by January all regions under Alert Level 3. This is the proposal that we have submitted to the IATF,” de Vera told lawmakers during the briefing of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education.
“‘Yung mga handa na, ‘yung gustong magsimula, December puwede na. ‘Yung mga iba ang realistically, I think, Mr. Chair, many of the schools will do it at the start of second semester kasi hindi na nila mabago ‘yung kanilang mga tinuturo for the first semester kasi patapos na. That’s what I mean by phasing here,” he added.
(Those who are ready may begin this December. Many of the schools will do it at the start of the second semester because they can no longer change what they are teaching as the first semester is already ending.)
De Vera clarified that it would be the schools which will decide if they are already prepared to conduct face-to-face classes. He added that the CHED would inspect these HEIs.
“If they are ready, we can inspect them even tomorrow. That’s why we are holding the town meeting in the different universities para malaman namin kung sino na ‘yung handa para mauna na silang inspekin (so we will know who are ready and can be inspected). So it’s not the CHED who will decide when it will start. It is the schools who will decide whether they’re ready,” he said.
De Vera said HEIs would operate at 50% capacity.
The CHED chairperson also said only HEIs in areas under Alert Level 2 may apply to be allowed to conduct limited face-to-face classes but priority will be given to HEIs with existing authority to do so. He said there would be close monitoring on retrofitting of facilities, compliance with minimum public health standards, and the number of COVID-19 cases.
As of October 31, a total of 162 HEIs have been issued authority to conduct limited face-to-face classes, according to the data presented by de Vera.
De Vera said a total of 204,692 out of the 270,246 HEI personnel have been vaccinated as of November 4.
Meanwhile, there were a total of 3,883,460 tertiary students as of November 4 and of this number, 1,149,535 have been vaccinated already. De Vera said the students were classified under the B category on the government’s vaccination priority list. –KG, GMA News