MANILA, Mar 27 (Mabuhay) — The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is allowing 24 higher education institutions (HEIs) to hold “limited face-to-face classes” starting on the second semester of the academic year 2020-2021.

CHED Chairman J. Prospero de Vera III announced Friday that these colleges and universities passed stringent retrofitting and have fully complied with the guidelines of the Department of Health and the Covid-19 Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

“They can now bring their 3rd and 4th year students for hands-on training and laboratory classes in a limited face-to-face system. CHED will continue to monitor these HEIs and I am confident that they will provide safe and healthy spaces for their students in the coming months,” he said.

The schools that were able to secure CHED’s approval are as follow:

1. Mariano Marcos State University – Batac (Region I)

2. St. Louis University (Cordillera Administrative Region)

3. Our Lady of Fatima University – City of San Fernando (Region III)

4. Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health (National Capital Region-NCR)

5. University of Santo Tomas (NCR)

6. University of East Ramon Magsaysay (NCR)

7. Our Lady of Fatima University – Quezon City (NCR)

8. Our Lady of Fatima University – Valenzuela City (NCR)

9. Manila Central University (NCR)

10. University of the Philippines-Manila (NCR)

11. Adventist University of the Philippines (Region IV)

12. De La Salle Health and Medical Science Institute (Region IV)

13. University of Perpetual Help – Don Jose (Region IV)

14. Our Lady of Fatima University – Sta. Rosa (Region IV)

15. Naga College Foundation (Region V)

16. West Visayas State University (Region VI)

17. Central Philippine University (Region VI)

18. Cebu Institute of Medicine (Region VII)

19. University of Cebu School of Medicine (Region VII)

20. Iloilo Doctors’ College of Medicine (Region VI)

21. University of Iloilo (Region VI)

22. Blancia Foundation College, Inc. (Region IX)

23. Xavier University (Region X)

24. Liceo de Cagayan University (Region X)

Among those prioritized to conduct limited in-person classes are select allied health-related degree programs such as Medicine, Nursing, Medical Technology/Medical Laboratory Science, Physical Therapy, Midwifery, and Public Health.

The CHED said would enable students to achieve key learning outcomes on specialized laboratory courses and hospital-based clinical clerkship/internship/practicum, as well as to provide additional manpower to the country’s health system.

Inclusion on vax list

The agency also asked concerned local government units (LGUs) to include in their vaccination list the school faculty, staff, and students who would be involved in immunization drives.

“This is also the reason why President Duterte approved limited face-to-face classes – because our HEIs can help in the government’s vaccination program,” de Vera said.

“As the country looks forward to receiving the next batch of millions of donated and procured vaccines in the 2nd quarter of the year, we must maximize the use of large alternative venues to be readily available so that the priority groups (essential workers, seniors, the indigents) could be inoculated without further delay,” he added.

To date, the University of Santo Tomas Hospital, Manila Central University Gymnasium, St. Louis University Baguio Gymnasium, De La Salle Medical Health Sciences Institute, Our Lady of Fatima University and the Central Philippine University have offered their facilities to serve as vaccination centers.

De Vera said CHED is preparing the guidelines for establishing vaccination centers in HEIs, with inputs from the CHED Public Health Experts Group.

These guidelines will be discussed with the LGUs and IATF and may be used in ensuring more vaccination centers for the government. (MNS)

READ NEXT: Palace: DOH has enough funds to secure supply of medicines used to treat COVID-19 patients