Over 60 higher education institutions (HEIs) nationwide that offer medical and allied health programs have been approved to hold limited face-to-face classes, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said.
In a virtual press conference for the 1st National Higher Education Day on Tuesday, May 18, CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera III said that so far, “there are 64” colleges and universities that have been allowed to conduct limited face-to-face classes among students who are taking up medical and health allied programs.
Meanwhile, De Vera noted that CHED does not have current data as to how many HEIs have pending applications to hold limited face-to-face classes in their respective areas.
“I don’t have the exact figure as to how many are still waiting because under the CHED-DOH [Department of Health] Guidelines, the inspection, validation and approval of this is with the Regional Offices of CHED,” De Vera said. “This is nationwide so we have pending applications,” he added.
In the Bicol Region, for example, De Vera said that there were five approved universities. “They have a waiting list of more than 10 that are still waiting so it is possible that there may be other applications being processed now but I wouldn’t know the exact number,” he explained.
De Vera noted that CHED only has the number of approved schools “because inspection of this, it is very meticulous and the approval is not very easy to get.”
In March, De Vera said that selected allied health-related degree programs, such as Medicine, Nursing, Medical Technology/Medical Laboratory Science, Physical Therapy, Midwifery, and Public Health, were prioritized to conduct limited face-to-face classes.
De Vera said that the two major reasons behind this is 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.”