The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Wednesday, June 16, said that there are over 70 higher education institutions (HEIs) allowed to conduct limited face-to-face classes for their medical and health allied programs.
Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman Popoy De Vera, during the Laging Handa public briefing, said that the implementation of limited face-to-face classes for students who are taking up medicine and other health allied courses started early this year.
“Actually, nagsimula ito January pa. Ang nauna dito ay UP-College of Medicine dahil inaprubahan ni Pangulo Duterte ang limited face-to-face sa medicine at allied health sciences. (Actually, this started in January. The UP [University of the Philippines] – College of Medicine was the first when President Duterte approved limited face-to-face classes for medicine and allied health sciences),” he said.
To date, De Vera said that there are 73 universities and colleges nationwide that are holding limited face-to-face classes after these were inspected by CHED, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and their respective local government units (LGUs).
Meanwhile, De Vera noted that the HEIs that are implementing limited in-person classes have different schedules. “’Yung iba nagsimula na, ‘yung iba nasa gitna na ng semestre, at ang iba ay magbubukas pa lang ngayong school year (Some have already started, some are in the middle of the semester, and some will just open this school year),” he explained.
Since the government allowed several HEIs to hold limited face-to-face classes, De Vera said that CHED continues to monitor possible infection among students and faculty members.
“Ang datos doon sa mga [pamantasan] na nauna nang magsimula ay zero infection ang kanilang face-to-face (The data in those [universities] that started earlier is that they have zero infection when it comes face-to-face [classes]),” he explained. However, he noted that CHED was able to “monitor infection” in Region VIII.
Meanwhile, De Vera said that the majority of the students who are allowed to attend limited face-to-face classes have been vaccinated against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) already since many of them are 18 years and above.
This, he added, was possible after CHED sought the help of the Department of Health (DOH) and classified the students taking up medicine and allied health programs – along with their clinical instructors – as “medical frontliners.”