The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Saturday said that it is reviewing the possibility of a flexible internship or on-the-job training (OJT) program for college students who need it to complete their studies.
In a virtual press briefing on Saturday, CHED Executive Director Cinderella Filipina Benitez-Jaro said the Commission is studying a combination of offline and online courses for internships for the resumption of classes in August.
“Gusto natin na magkaroon pa rin ng continuity of education despite the pandemic. Sa ating mga kurso o programa na may internship o OJT, ang pinag-aaralan natin ay magkaroon ng flexible mode (We really want to have a continuity of education despite the pandemic. In courses or programs that require an internship or OJT, we are studying to implement it in a flexible mode),” Benitez-Jaro said.
“Ibig sabihin, ‘yung mga parte na kaya nating gawin na online, wala pa namang skills-based, wala pa naming nangangailangan ng limited face-to-face classes, ay gawin sa pagsisimula ng academic year. (This means the parts that can be done online, those that are not skills-based and do not meet limited face-to-face classes, can be done at the start of the academic year),” she said.
While for those that require limited face-to-face classes, Benitez-Jaro suggested that it can be done by the end or the latter part of the semester.
During a meeting of the government’s pandemic task force over the week, CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera III suggested focusing on theory-based subjects in the first semester for college courses, while laboratory courses should be done during the second semester.
The Commission also proposed the conduct of limited face-to-face classes in low-risk areas or those under the modified general community quarantine, but the CHED executive director said that higher education institutions should implement strict protocols as part of its preparation for the “new normal.”
“One of the reservations of parents and students is that should there be limited face-to-face classes, is the risk of transmission. So we need to make changes in our institution to prevent or limit the transmission of the virus,” Benitez-Jaro explained in Pilipino.
Face-to-face classes have been suspended in the country since the government implemented a hard lockdown in parts of the country in mid-March to encourage strict home quarantine and reduce the risk of virus transmission amid the global pandemic.