Limited face-to-face classes in NCR+ temporarily suspended, CHED says

Published March 30, 2021, 9:17 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

Amid the surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) clarified that the conduct of limited face-to-face classes in select Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are temporarily suspended – especially in areas where the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) is enforced.

CHED Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III

CHED Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III, during the Laging Handa public briefing on Tuesday, March 30, said that a total of 24 HEIs have been allowed to hold limited face-to-face classes.

This, after President Duterte approved in January the conduct of limited in-person classes for students taking up medicine and allied health sciences degrees in select HEIs nationwide.

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However, De Vera explained that the conduct of limited face-to-face classes have already been suspended in schools under the National Capital Region (NCR)-plus since these are classified as high-incidence areas.

“Bago pa mag-issue ang IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force] nitong ECQ [Enhance Community Quarantine] ay actually tinigil na nila. Unang-una binawi nila iyong mga estudyante galing sa mga ospital dahil iyang mga ospital mismo ay nagsabi na mataas na ang incidence ng COVID at hindi masyadong ligtas ang mga batang pumunta doon (Before the IATF declared EQC, the schools stopped this already. First, they asked the students not to go to the hospitals anymore because the incidence of COVID is already high and it’s not very safe for them to go there),” De Vera said.

De Vera explained that the HEIs already pulled out their clinical interns even before there was a surge in COVID-19 cases. “At dito sa NCR, lahat noong limited face-to-face ay nakatigil habang kinu-control natin iyong virus. Pero sa mga ibang lugar sa Pilipinas na hindi naman naka-ECQ, doon ay mayroon pang limited face-to-face (Here in NCR, all limited face-to-face [classes] have stopped already as we try to control the virus. But in other places in the Philippines that are not under ECQ, limited face-to-face classes are still being held),” he added.

De Vera said that based on the joint guidelines issued by CHEd and DOH, the conduct of limited face-to-face classes will be suspended if the cases of COVID-19 in those areas continue to increase or if a student tested positive for COVID-19.

The universities and local government units (LGUs), De Vera said, are expected to coordinate and respond if the cases of COVID-19 continue to increase in their respective areas.

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“So wala tayong problema diyan sa limited face-to-face dahil very responsible iyong mga university. Bago pa lang mag-declare ng ECQ ay tinigil na nila iyong kanilang limited face-to-face dito sa NCR at mga karatig na lugar (So we don’t have problems with limited face-to-face because our universities are very responsible. Even before the ECQ was declared, they already suspended the limited face-to-face here in NCR and other nearby areas),” De Vera added.

 
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