Cebu City prepares for return of face-to-face classes in colleges, universities

By: Inquirer.net, Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital | November 18,2021 - 01:41 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines—Officials in Cebu City are preparing for the implementation of limited in-person classes in non-medical colleges and universities.

The Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on Thursday, November 18, 2021, announced that they will be inspecting more institutions of higher educations now that the national government allowed those under Alert Level 2 to resume to the traditional style of teaching.

Councilor Joel Garganera, EOC chief, said the EOC has already formed at least four teams to overlook the eventual return of face-to-face classes in the city’s colleges and universities. 

These groups are composed of officials and doctors from the Department of Health (DOH), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the EOC, said Garganera.

“Yes, we are expected to conduct inspections in other universities. What I mean by other universities are those that do not have medical or nursing schools since we already inspected them, and some of them have already started the face to face (classes),” Garganera said. 

Fully vaccinated 

According to the EOC head, they will be prioritizing Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) that needed in-person learning setups as part of their courses or curriculum. 

But at the same time, they suggested school administrators to also consider hosting a ‘hybrid’ class arrangement that involves physical and virtual classes.

“Gitagaan gyud nato ug priority ning mga schools nga kinahanglan ug face-to-face gyud,” said Garganera. 

In the meantime, the city government urged schools and universities to ensure their students and faculty are fully vaccinated before proceeding with returning to face-to-face classes. 

“We really have to emphasize the need for our students, teachers to be fully vaccinated,” Garganera added.

The IATF approved on Tuesday a resolution adopting the Commission on Higher Education’s proposal for a phased implementation of limited in-person classes.

Acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles, who also cochairs the IATF, said the conduct of in-person classes would be implemented in stages to ensure safety in the school premises.

Under the government guidelines, limited classes are allowed in areas under alert levels 1, 2 and 3, subject to certain conditions. 

These include limiting indoor capacity to 50 percent, securing approval from the host local government, and ensuring that participating students, teachers and other school employees are fully vaccinated.

Nograles said that during Phase 1, which will be from December 2021 onwards, all higher education institutions (HEIs) in areas under alert level 2 may apply for limited in-person classes.

Phase 2 will be from January 2022 onwards, during which HEIs in areas under alert level 3 may apply.

HEIs intending to hold limited face-to-face classes must be willing to assume responsibility for the campus reopening, ensure compliance with health and safety protocols, retrofit their facilities, and secure the support of their stakeholders.

Most HEIs in Cebu are concentrated in the capital Cebu City, which is under Alert Level 2 until November 30. 

/bmjo

READ MORE: 50 public schools in Central Visayas ready for in-person classes

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TAGS: Commission on Higher Education, Councilor Joel Garganera, Department of Health, Emergency Operations Center, face-to-face classes

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