By Rey Anthony Chiu | 09:18 AM November 26, 2021
At least two higher educational institutions in Bohol have allegedly asked the Bohol Inter Agency Task Force on the management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (BIATF) the green-light to start their classroom retrofit and be ready for the limited face to face (F2F) classes, by either December or January of next year.
BIATF through Provincial Administrator Atty Katherin Pioquinto said University of Bohol and Holy Name University (HNU) have confirmed their plans to conduct limited F2F classes as soon as their application gest approved by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
Bohol Island State University was also said to prepare for an application starting with a vaccination of their students billed sa Resbakuna Para Makabalik sa Eskwela.
During its online meeting last Monday, Holy Name University’s (HNU) Health and Medical Sciences dean Ruvih Joy Garrote has asked the BIATF a recommendation which will form part of the school’s documents for official submission to the Commission on Higher Education.
According to Garrote, HNU is applying for limited face to face classes for its Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Medical Technology courses, and they have to get the BIATF endorsement so they cans start reconfiguring their classrooms for a 50% capacity and be assured of social distancing.
For HEIs like the HNU, they have the responsibility to conduct consultations with their stakeholders before retrofitting their classrooms and facilitate the ocular inspection by the CHED before they can formally file the application for face to face class opening.
In Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2021-001, CHED and DOH said that while flexible learning is “deemed the most appropriate and safest pedagogical approach during the pandemic, there might be some instances that face-to-face delivery of certain courses is necessary.”
The guidelines in Joint Memorandum Circular No 2021-001 also laid the Guidelines for school administrators and officials on the gradual reopening of campuses of HEIS for limited F2F classes during the pandemic.
The guidelines, serve as the framework for HEIs that are willing to assume the responsibilities for the reopening of the campuses and intending to hold limited F2F.
For the schools, part of their responsibilities for the reopening of their campuses for F2F classes include their capacity to comply with the health and safety protocols, retrofit their facilities and earn the support of stakeholders primarily the local government unit upon whose area of responsibility they belong.
Based on the Guidelines on the Nationwide Implementation of Alert Levels System for Covid-19 Response, areas under Alert Levels 1, 2 and 3, are allowed to conduct limited F2F classes subject to certain conditions.
These conditions include fifty percent (50%) indoor venue capacity, participation of fully vaccinated teaching and non-teaching personnel and students only and no opposition from the local government unit concerned.
The government insists that, the continued implementation of proactive measures and restrictions must be put in place to slow down the surge in Covid-19 cases, stop further spread of variants, buy time for the health system to cope, and protect more lives.
To this, the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the task force mandated to device ways to prevent and minimize the entry of suspected or confirmed patients with emerging infectious diseases into the country passed Resolution No. 148-G Series of 2021, dated November 16, 2021.
The resolution approved and adopted the proposed Phased Implementation of Limited Face-to-Face Classes for All Programs under the Alert Levels 1 System for Covid-19 Response of CHED.
As such, it allows for the CHED to implement the said program under the proposed two phases to ensure the safe reopening of campuses.
The two phases include the implementation beginning December 2021 onwards for all HEIs in areas under Alert Level 2, which applied for face to face classes.
By the next year, Phase 2 starts in January 2022 onwards for all HEIs in areas under Alert Level 3. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)