Following the approval to conduct limited in-person classes for specific programs, Take Up Space Movement (TUSM) said face-to-face classes were “impractical” without support for teachers and students.
In a statement, TUSM hit the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for “failing to consider” other factors that affect the quality of education that the students were receiving during distance learning, its shift, and flexible learning once transitioned.
This after CHED announced that it is planning to conduct limited in-person classes in all degree programs by the first quarter of 2022 in areas low-risk for COVID-19 and have high vaccination rates.
More pressing concerns, such as retrofitting of school facilities and its surrounding environments, still need to be met to ensure a legitimately safe return to face-to-face classes, it added.
“Once again, students and teachers are left all by themselves to shoulder the needs for transitioning to face-to-face classes. This was similar to one of the very reasons why a large number of students dropped out from schools during the abrupt transition to distance learning,” the group lamented.
TUSM also stressed that costs with transitioning to flexible learning should not be shouldered by students or their families.
“We have suffered long enough. The quality of education that we receive has long been neglected and compromised due to CHED’s incompetence and lack of urgency for their academic needs. Returning back to face-to-face classes can only be until the pandemic is contained making it safe for everyone and that the needs of the students, teachers, and the school employees are met,” the group added.
“If CHED does not take up the necessities that should be done beforehand, then the conduct of limited face-to-face classes by geographic areas are again doomed to fail.”
Currently, CHED allowed limited in-person classes in higher education institutions (HEIs) that offer Medicine and Allied Health Sciences.
In September, CHED announced the expansion of limited face-to-face activities in engineering and technology programs, hospitality/hotel and restaurant management, tourism/travel management, maritime engineering, and maritime transportation.