Several colleges, universities retrofit facilities for face-to-face classes

Some colleges and are already preparing their retrofitted facilities after allowing the gradual availability of limited face-to-face classes in higher institutions in Alert Level 1 to 3.

On Wednesday, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force approved the “phased implementation” of face-to-face classes for all college programs in areas under Alert Level 3 and below.

Under the policy, starting December, HEIs in Alert Level 2 can now apply for limited face-to-face classes.

In January 2022, HEIs will be able to apply for Alert Level 3 for physical classes.

As a result, HEIs will retrofit the schools of the facilities to apply, inspect and eventually allow the Commission on Higher Education to start admitting students.

City University has ensured that its facilities have ample space and proper ventilation.

Signage has also been put up to comply with health protocols against the spread of COVID-19.

“Our infrastructure is retrofitted by the time they’re here. All our faculty members are vaccinated,” said City University President Theresita Atienza.

According to the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU), schools are already consulting with parents, students, and faculty.

Several colleges, retrofit facilities for face-to-face classes

Universities are allowed to set their own rules, as long as they follow general guidelines, such as adherence to the health protocol, maximum 50-percent indoor capacity, and coordination with local government.

“At least, magkakaroon na ng flexible learning option. So mayroon tayong online, mayroon tayong face-to-face,” said PACU President Anthony Tamayo.

“Just in case the situation on the ground changes, makaka-shift tayo back online. ‘Tsaka at least may option ang students, na whether online or face-to-face,” he added.

In the event of a positive COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 case, students in that class will be back-flexible learning, said CHED Executive Director Cinderella Benitez-Jaro.

“Hanggang sa ma-disinfect nila iyong kanilang place at sa ganoon ay matapos nila ang quarantine procedure as mandated or directed by the Department of Health,” she said.

Before the new policy, only select courses such as medicine and engineering were limited face-to-face classes.

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