The Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Education on Wednesday identified college courses that will be allowed to gradually resume limited face-to-face classes under strict pandemic protocols.
The two agencies released a memorandum containing the guidelines and conditions for the resumption of classes in medicine, nursing, medical technology/medical laboratory service, midwifery and public health.
The memorandum did not prescribe a date for the resumption. Signed on Feb. 10, it is effective immediately after publication.
"Although flexible learning is deemed the most appropriateand safest pedagogical approach during the pandemic, there might be some instances that face-to-face delivery of certain courses is necessary," the memorandum read.
"For the gradual reopening of campuses of HEIs for limited face-to-face classes, selected health-related degree programs regarded as vital in providing additional manpower support in the health system during the pandemic shall be prioritized," it said.
Subjects where there will be face-to-face classes will be "delimited" to specialized laboratory courses or hospital based clinicalclerkship/internship/practicum, including clinical rotations for post-graduate medical interns.
A plan to gradually resume face-to-face classes in the elementary and high school levels last January was scrapped after new variants of the coronavirus emerged.
MORE ON FACE-TO-FACE CLASSES:
For higher education institutions or HEIs in areas under MGCQ, the lowest quarantine level, limited face-to-face classes can gradually resume as long as conditions set by the DOH-CHED are met and they follow safety protocols from the DOH, their local government unit and all relevant state agencies.
They should apply before their CHED regional office and must offer the priority health courses listed in the DOH-CHED document.
On top of the requirements for HEIs in areas under MGCQ, those in areas under GCQ must have base hospitals that cater to COVID-19 patients. Interns are allowed only in non-COVID wards.