According to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), higher education institutions (HEIs) can now conduct limited face-to-face classes under Alert Level 3 starting January 31.
“Iyong January 31, ang ibig sabihin, iyon iyong pinakamaaga na puwede kang magbukas. Pinakamaaga. Pero kung iyong conditions mo on the ground is not favorable, siyempre huwag ka dapat magbukas ng January 31,” said CHED Chairman Prospero de Vera.
(The January 31, which means that’s the best you can open. Earliest. But if your conditions on the ground are not favorable, of course, you should not open on January 31.)
The National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) is in favor of the new CHED policy as long as it ensures the safety of students who take face-to-face classes.
“Basta masiguro iyong testing, iyong pagpasok ng mga estudyante, paglabas, iyong classrooms, retrofitting ng mga schools at ng mga classrooms,” said NUSP President Jandeil Roperos.
(Just ensure your testing, the entry of students, exit, your classrooms, retrofitting of schools and classrooms.)
That is why schools, such as Mapua University in Manila, which last year prepared for the gradual return of students to the school, are careful and scrupulous.
In late February, the university targets to open physical classes but it still depends on the risk assessment.
Students’ groups favor face-to-face classes in college
“We’ve gone beyond the minimum requirements of CHED and [Department of Health]. We will practice the rotating classes… and then every week there’s a new batch [of students],” said Mapua University Chief Operating Officer Raul Victor Tan.
Face-to-face classes are voluntary and remote learning will remain.
Meanwhile, in public schools in basic education, the Department of Education has left the suspension of classes to regional offices and school heads in the face of the re-launch of COVID-19 cases.
Based on the agency’s memorandum, schools could suspend classes this January, depending on the situation in their area.
However, the suspension should not exceed two weeks to avoid delays in the school calendar.