‘Plan ahead’: CHED urges universities, colleges to prepare for possible resumption of limited face-to-face classes

Published March 12, 2021, 5:40 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

Instead of waiting for the guidelines to be issued, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) urged higher education institutions (HIEs) to make the necessary preparations if they intend to hold face-face classes once allowed by the government.

CHED Chairperson J. Prospero De Vera III, during a virtual press conference on Friday, March 12, said that HEIs that are planning to conduct limited face-to-face classes for specific degree courses or program offering should “prepare even without the guidelines” released.

Face-to-face classes remain prohibited in the country due to the continued threat of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Students in all levels, from kinder to tertiary, are under home-based learning as directed by President Duterte.

However, as recommended by CHED, some HEIs that offer medical and allied health sciences were given priority to attend limited face-to-face classes.

De Vera said that HEIs are currently implementing flexible learning options. “However, there are subjects that need hands-on experience and are not possible through online or distance learning,” he added.

To ensure that the quality of education for tertiary students will not be further compromised, De Vera said that HEIs may plan ahead if they intend to resume with the conduct of face-to-face classes for specific courses.

“Kahit walang (even without) guidelines, you can plan ahead,” De Vera said. Among the preparations the HEIs can do at this point, he added, is to reach out to their respective local government units (LGUs).

“Consult, coordinate and start meetings with your LGUs,” De Vera said. “You don’t have to wait for the guidelines, you can also retrofit ahead so the process can be fast-tracked once it has been approved,” he added.