Recognizing that hands-on training and face-to-face instruction are also crucial in other degree courses, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) eyes to expand the implementation of limited in-person classes.
CHED Chairperson Popoy De Vera, during the Laging Handa public briefing on June 16, said that only students taking up medicine and allied health sciences in 73 higher education institutions (HEIs) approved by CHED are allowed to attend limited face-to-face classes for subjects that need hands-on or skills training to date.
“Kung makikita sa datos na talagang ligtas ang mga bata dahil sa compliance sa guidelines, ang aking gagawin ay pupunta ako kay President Duterte at hihingan ng approval na i-expand ito sa iba pang degree program na kailangan din ng face-to-face (If we will see from the data that the students are safe because of compliance with the guidelines, I will go to President Duterte and ask for his approval to expand to other degree programs the implementation of face-to-face classes),” De Vera said.
Among the degree programs being considered by CHED include Engineering, Information Technology, and Maritime programs – to name a few. However, De Vera stressed that the possible resumption of in-person classes in other degree programs will still depend on the data gathered from the “first batch” of students who attended limited face-to-face classes.
In preparation for the possible resumption of limited face-to-face in degree programs other than medicine and health allied courses, De Vera said that many HEIs are helping CHED in the drafting of the guidelines.
“Sa ngayon, itong mga degree program na ito ay sinisimulan na naming gawin iyong detailed na guidelines at nagpo-prototype na rin sila ng retrofitting, para kung i-expand ito, madali nilang simulan (Right now, we are starting to make the detailed guidelines for these degree programs and they are also prototyping retrofitting, so that if we expand this, they can start easily),” he added.
Currently, De Vera said that the HEIs and the experts in these fields are coordinating to finalize the guidelines. “Once na mayroon na silang napag-usapan dadalhin iyan sa komisyon para pag-aralan namin (Once they have discussed this, what they have agreed upon will be taken to the commission for us study),” he added.
What is critical here, De Vera said, is choosing the subjects that cannot be done virtually or online. Since CHED has adopted a policy to implement Flexible Learning in the coming years, the HEIs need to list down the subjects that might need limited face-to-face classes and those that can be done online and other combinations of learning delivery modalities.
“Kailangan na mag-agree diyan iyong mga dekano noong mga degree programs at iyong mga pamunuan ng mga pamantasan saka titingnan ng CHED kung tama iyong kanilang rekomendasyon (The deans of degree programs and the university leaders need to agree on this and then CHED will check if their recommendation is correct),” De Vera added.