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CHED: Only Vaccinated College Students Allowed To Attend In-Person Classes

CHED: Only Vaccinated College Students Allowed To Attend In-Person Classes
Dentistry students work in a dental laboratory as limited face-to-face classes resume at the University of the East in Manila on Nov. 22, 2021 amid relaxed COVID-19 restrictions. Photo by KJ Rosales, The Philippine STAR

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said on Monday, Dec. 6, that only vaccinated college students are allowed to participate in the limited resumption of face-to-face (F2F) classes.

Ang bagong policy sa face-to-face ay kailangan vaccinated lang ang pwedeng pumasok sa eskwelahan,” CHED chairman J. Prospero de Vera III told “One Balita Pilipinas” on One PH.

According to De Vera, COVID-19 testing is also no longer mandatory for fully vaccinated students, but only for those who have symptoms.

If a student tests positive for the infectious disease, the higher education institutions (HEIs) must do contact tracing as well as disinfection of the school facilities, the CHED official said.

Kung may sintomas ka kailangan magpa-test at mai-refer sa quarantine sa facility ng LGU (local government unit). At may contact tracing,” he noted.

De Vera stressed that only colleges and universities must only operate at 50% capacity. He said bigger institutions can accommodate more students while others can make use of the gyms or auditoriums.

Ibig sabihindepende sa pagkaka-retrofit nila kung malalaki ang rooms eh ‘di mas marami ang kasya,” De Vera explained.

As of Dec. 3, De Vera revealed that 82.45% of the faculty of the universities and 45% of their students nationwide were already vaccinated nationwide. He also noted that the infection rate of the students who joined the resumption of F2F classes was 0.3% with no hospitalization and death recorded.

“So 1.8 million out of close to four million (students) have been vaccinated. Nagsimula sila noong Oct. 15 lang so after a month and a half nasa 45% na tayo,” De Vera pointed out.

Since January, De Vera disclosed that the agency already approved the requests of 192 HEIs – covering 420 degree programs – to implement limited F2F classes.

He said several schools decided to implement F2F classes in the second semester of the current school year. The agency is also expecting more schools to participate in the F2F classes in January next year, he added.

According to De Vera, HEIs need not apply for the implementation of F2F classes as CHED can check them on the spot and determine if followed the guidelines to do

In November, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has allowed face-to-face classes in all college degree programs at 50% capacity in areas under Alert Level 2.

Expansion

Meanwhile, Department of Education (DepEd) regional director and undersecretary Wilfredo Cabral said there is a possibility that it expands the pilot resumption of F2F classes in Metro Manila.

Kung makapasa po ‘yung ibang eskwelahan ay magdadagdag tayo as we move forward in the expanded phase ng ating re-introduction ng in-person classes,” Cabral also told “One Balita Pilipinas.”

Metro Manila schools began F2F classes after a year and a half since these were suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020.

Cabral said the 28 schools in the National Capital Region are part of the total 2,300 (2,000 Kindergarten to Grade 3 and 300 senior high schools) that will participate in the pilot in-person classes nationwide.

The grade levels approved for the limited F2F classes are Kindergarten to Grade 3 and senior high school.