The National University (NU) has begun its limited face-to-face classes for the students of its medical technology program on Monday, June 7.
In May, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) granted NU the Certificate of Authority to conduct limited face-to-face classes on selected medical technology and nursing courses.
Edison Ramos, NU Department of Medical Technology Program Chair, said students, faculty members, and laboratory assistance underwent swab testing first before the resumption of classes.
Ramos added that they also had to retrofit their classrooms and laboratories to make sure their facilities are virus-resilient.
“Nagkaroon [din] ng orientation sa students, parents, and yung mga barangay surrounding NU. Yung mga baranggay dapat alam din nila na may mga student nang babalik dito sa school (There was also an orientation for students, parents, and the barangays surrounding NU. The barangay should also know that there are students coming back to school),” Ramos told Manila Bulletin in a phone interview on Tuesday, June 8.
The university is also implementing a one-way human traffic system to limit human intersection, contact, or interaction.
Ramos hailed CHED’s decision to allow them to conduct limited face-to-face classes, saying it will enable their students to become “fully equipped prior to their internship.”
“Yung third year namin, sila yung nag-fa-face-to-face ngayon. Sila yung mag-i-intern sa August kaya pinush din namin na sila ay mag-face-to-face bago matapos ang semester. Kasi sila yung ide-deploy namin sa hospital by August, ayaw naman namin na ma-deploy sila na wala silang alam sa basic procedures kasi for one whole year purely online tayo (Our third year students are the ones doing face-to-face. They are the one who will intern in August so we really pushed for this limited face-to-face classes before the end of the semester. Because we will deploy them to hospitals and we don’t want to do it without them knowing the basic procedures because for one whole year, we are only purely online),” Ramos stressed.
Classes are divided into two shifts, one morning and one afternoon, and students per shift are furthered grouped into two to ensure the proper observance of physical distancing inside the classrooms.
Classrooms are also disinfected after every shift, according to Ramos.
“The usual capacity of rooms is 40 students, we decreased it into 12 students per room to satisfy the requirements of [CHED, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases, and the City Government of Manila],” Ramos added.
Students on the campus are only required to attend limited face-to-face classes for four consecutive days, then off-campus for the next 10 days for online classes.
“Aside from online sa next 10 days, that’s also a period for monitoring. Kasi nga diba na-expose sila, tapos uuwi sila, byahe, so may possibility talaga na ma-expose sila. Imo-monitor namin sila for the next 10 days (Aside from online, the next 10 days is also a period for monitoring. Because students get exposed when they travel and go home. We will also monitor them for the next 10 days),” Ramos said.
“Kung lahat ng estudyante walang naging problema sa period of monitoring, papasok ulit sila for another 4-10 cycle (If all students will not encounter any problem during the monitoring, they will continue another 4-10 cycle).”
Over 60 higher education institutions nationwide that offer medical and allied health programs have been approved by CHED to conduct limited face-to-face classes.