Depending on several factors and the overall public health situation, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Wednesday, Oct. 13, said that limited face-to-face classes might be a possibility in all degree programs by the first quarter of 2022.
“Our timeline there, to put in on board, is maybe early next year or the second semesters of schools,” said CHED Chairman Popoy De Vera during the virtual presser for the ceremonial vaccination for tertiary students at the Mabalacat City College in Pampanga.
“We are currently studying what is the best way to do it and then we draft the guidelines on how it will be implemented,” De Vera explained in a mix of English and Filipino.
Currently, De Vera said that the experts are starting to craft the guidelines. “Our target for high vaccination rate is until December so we have time to craft the guidelines,” he added.
Currently, CHED – upon the approval of President Duterte and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) – has allowed limited face-to-face classes in higher education institutions (HEIs) that offer Medicine and Allied Health Sciences after thorough assessment and inspection conducted along with the Department of Health (DOH).
In September, CHED announced the expansion of limited in-person activities in engineering and technology programs, hospitality/hotel and restaurant management, tourism/ travel management, marine engineering, and marine transportation.
With the vaccination of students as part of the general population, De Vera said that holding limited face-to-face classes in all degree programs is part of CHED’s plans for tertiary level.
“Conceptually, if the risk level is low, the vaccination rate — both within the school and within the community — is high, the facilities are retrofitted, local government is on board, then we can now look at the possibility of limited face-to-face classes in all degree programs,” De Vera added.
During a virtual press briefing early this week, De Vera said that CHED is eyeing limited face-to-face classes in all degree programs at the higher education level in areas with low coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases and with high vaccination rates.
De Vera said that in addition to the limited face-to-face by degree program, CHED is also studying the possibility of expanding the conduct of limited face-to-face classes further.
“Our limited face-to-face [classes] will be categorized into two, by degree program and possibly, by geographic area. We’re studying this now,” he added.
CHED eyes limited in-person classes for all degree programs in areas with low COVID-19 cases, high vaccination rates