MANILA – The next possible programs that would be opened for limited in-person classes are engineering, information technology, industrial technology, and maritime-related courses, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman J. Prospero de Vera III said on Tuesday.
De Vera, however, clarified that the resumption would still depend on the safety of students from the initial programs that were allowed to hold in-person learning.
“First, we have to see whether the first batch of those allowed limited face-to-face worked meaning we have to get data if the students are really safe if there is no infection, (and) if there is no transmission. Once the data is available, I would go to the president and ask for the next batch,” he said.
He said initial data showed “very positive” results, citing zero transmission in the first one to two months of face-to-face classes at Our Lady of Fatima University and the University of the Philippines-College of Medicine.
“If this holds true in the more than 60 universities that have been allowed some limited face-to-face then the commission en banc will study and recommend what is the next batch,” he added.
The official said engineering, IT courses, industrial technology, and maritime-related programs are being considered because these courses involve hands-on activities that cannot be delivered virtually.
“So ang nangyayari ngayon (So what’s happening now is that) the deans of the engineering schools are already talking among themselves. They are preparing, helping the commission draft the guidelines… At the proper time, the commission will look into this,” he said.
CHED previously allowed limited in-person classes in select allied health-related degree programs such as medicine, nursing, medical technology/medical laboratory science, physical therapy, midwifery, and public health.
De Vera said about 64 universities and colleges across the country have already secured approval to hold such classes with a number of applications still pending approval because the inspection “is very meticulous.” (PNA)