CHED asks Duterte to expand face-to-face classes to more degree programs

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 11) — The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has asked President Rodrigo Duterte to expand the limited face-to-face classes to more degree programs.

These are engineering, hotel and restaurant management, and maritime programs.

"Ang aming hiling, Mr. President, baka pwedeng iexpand na natin ito sa ibang programa na kailangan din talaga ng face-to-face," CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera said in a Cabinet meeting recorded on Friday but aired Saturday morning.

[Translation: Our request, Mr. President, is to expand this to other programs that really require face-to-face classes.]

He said the Inter-Agency Task Force has endorsed this proposal to the President three weeks ago.

Currently, 13,188 students taking up medicine and allied health courses in 118 schools nationwide are allowed to hold limited in-person classes, de Vera said.

He said of the total, close to 10,000 students have been vaccinated. Of all the learners attending in-person classes, only 41 of them got infected with the coronavirus, he said, adding they only developed mild symptoms.

He also said around 1,048 faculty members are authorized to teach in person, of whom 1,003 have been inoculated. Of all the educators doing in-person lectures, 15 caught mild COVID-19.

"Ligtas naman po. Mahigpit ang ating guidelines," he said.

[Translation: Holding in-person classes is safe. Our guidelines are strict.]

Of the close to 2,000 universities and colleges, about a third have already opened the school year, de Vera said. Others are planning to start classes in September or October, he added.