With the implementation of flexible learning still in place, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are not required to offer limited face-to-face classes at this point, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said.
In the Laging Handa public briefing on Friday, Oct. 22, CHED Chairman Popoy De Vera clarified that universities and colleges are not required to offer face-to-face classes especially if they are not yet ready.
“Wala tayong target, kasi depende sa eskuwelahan kung handa siyang mag-face-to-face, ito’y hindi naman, hindi requirement ito (We do not have a target because this depends on the schools if they are ready to have face-to-face [classes], this is not a requirement),” De Vera said when asked how many students or schools are expected to participate or apply to hold the limited in-person classes.
“Ito ay option or nasa sa eskuwelahan at sa mga estudyante kung gusto nilang mag-lesson sa face-to-face (This is just an option or it is within the discretion of the school and the students if they want to have face-to-face [classes],” De Vera said.
In January, President Duterte and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) approved the proposal of CHED to allow limited face-to-face classes in HEIs that offer Medicine and Allied Health Sciences.
To date, more than 180 universities and colleges nationwide have been allowed to hold limited face-to-face classes — offering at least over 300 degree programs.
In September, CHED confirmed the expansion of limited in-person activities for the second batch which include engineering and technology programs, hospitality/hotel and restaurant management, tourism/ travel management, marine engineering, and marine transportation.
Depending on several factors such as vaccination rate in schools and communities, the readiness of the schools and the coordination with the local government units, De Vera said that CHED is also studying the possibility of allowing limited in-person classes for all degree programs by next year.
“Wala tayong target, ang target natin ay as much as possible as, as many schools will apply, pero hindi natin mapipilit dahil hindi ho ito sapilitan, hindi mandatory (We do not have a target, our target is as much as possible, as many schools will apply, but we cannot force them, this is not mandatory),” De Vera stressed.
For schools to be allowed to hold limited face-to-face classes, De Vera said that they have to apply first. Thus, the schools must be able to comply with the guidelines issued by CHED and the Department of Health (DOH) on the conduct of limited in-person classes for the tertiary level.
“Kung hindi mag-a-apply iyong mga eskwelahan eh di hindi sila mai-inspect, hindi makakapag-face-to-face ang kanilang mga estudyante so, depende sa mga eskuwelahan kung handa na silang mag limited dito sa face-to-face (If the schools will not apply, we cannot inspect them so their students will not allowed to hold face-to-face classes so this depends on the schools whether or not they are ready to for face-to-face),” he added.
CHED eyes completion of guidelines for limited face-to-face classes in other degree programs before 2020 ends