Philippine HEIs Don't Have to Apply to Hold In-Person Classes, Commission Says

classroom mask COVID-19

The Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) in the Philippines, a government agency, said that higher education institutions in the country located in areas under Alert Levels 1, 2, and 3 will no longer need to apply to continue in-person education.

However, only students, staff, faculty, and other members of higher education institutions in the country who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be permitted to attend in-person education.

As Manila Times reports, CHEd Executive Director Cinderella Filipina Jaro said that higher education institutions are required to conduct self-assessment on their readiness to resume classes and reopen campuses for limited in-person education.

“For the reopening of campuses or schools in areas under the alert levels, there is no need for application — just an information to our regional offices that they have taken the necessary mechanisms, measures in order to comply with the guidelines,” she stressed.

Manila Times further reports that after conducting self-assessment, institutions should then submit a copy of the Self-Assessment Checklist to their respective CHEd Regional Offices with a Notarized Affidavit of Undertaking.

CHED Chairman J. Prospero De Vera III said that asking students to get vaccinated in order to be able to attend in-person classes, could encourage more unvaccinated students to get their shots.

“We are hoping that by saying that you can only have face-to-face if you are vaccinated, that would be an incentive for students to get vaccinated so they can go back to school,” he said.

Furthermore, CHEd pointed out that in-person classes are limited to 30 percent capacity for indoor activities and 50 percent for outdoors for those who are fully vaccinated and attend education at higher education institutions under Alert Level 3.

Differently, for Alert Level 2, CHEd announced that 50 percent of indoor capacity will be allowed for indoor activities and 70 percent for outdoors. Full capacity in indoor and outdoor venues will be allowed for fully vaccinated people under Alert Level 1.

CHEd has reported that 45.91 percent of students are already vaccinated against COVID-19, and the Commission said it expects that the number will increase at 166 country’s higher education institutions.

“The vaccination rates for faculty, staff, and students continue to increase but we need to push harder during the three-day vaccination drive to facilitate limited face-to-face classes,” the Commission has noted.

According to CHEd, 82 percent of higher education employees have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in November 2021, an increase from the 72 percent vaccination rate at the end of October 2021.