Video courtesy of PTV
MANILA — The Polytechnic University of the Philippines will not hold face-to-face classes this school year due to the threat of COVID-19, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said on Thursday.
The PUP is among "many" universities which anticipated the ongoing spike in coronavirus cases, said Chairman Prospero de Vera.
“Ang Polytechnic University of the Philippines, sinabi sa akin ni president [Manuel] Muhi noong isang araw, ang kanilang paggamit ng option ng limited face-to-face [classes] ay next school year na nila gagawin, hindi this school year,” he said in a televised public briefing.
(The Polytechnic University of the Philippines, president Manuel Muhi, told me the the other day that they will use of the option for limited face-to-face classes next school year, not this school year.)
“Sa school year 2022-2023 na sila magli-limited face-to-face dahil ang kanilang pinagtutuunan ng panahon ay palakasin at pagandahin iyong kanilang online and offline delivery ng education,” added the official.
(They will hold limited face-to-face classes in school year 2022-2023 because they are focusing their time on strengthening and improving their online and offline delivery of education.)
Located in urban areas, PUP campuses are "very compact" and "very dense" with a high student population, De Vera noted.
“Para sa kanila, mas efficient na pagandahin iyong flexible learning through online and offline option kaysa problemahin iyong pangangailangan ng limited face-to-face,” he said.
(For them, it is more efficient to improve flexible learning through online and offline options rather than mull the requirements of limited face-to-face.)
“D’yan mo makikita iyong mga universities natin ay alam nila ang kanilang dapat gawin,” the CHED chairman continued.
(You will see there that our universities know what needs to be done.)
Higher education institutions in areas under COVID-19 Alert Level 2 were allowed to hold classroom sessions since December 2021.
Those under Alert 3 can start holding limited in-person classes for all of their degree programs by Jan. 31.
"Pero ito ay reference point lang," said De Vera.
"Ibig sabihin, depende ‘yan doon sa kalagayan on the ground ng mga pamantasan, ang kanilang mga konsultasyon sa local governments, ang kondisyon ng kanilang facilities, konsultasyon sa mga faculty at students. At mag-adjust sila depende sa kalagayan," the official said.
(But this is just a reference point. It means that will depend on the universities' situation on the ground, their consultation with local governments, the condition of their facilities, consultations with the faculty and students. And they will adjust depending on their situation.)
The CHED chairman said he met with some 200 university heads last week.
"Ang marami sa kanila na nasa Alert Level 3 ay nag-decide na February sila magbubukas kung sakali ng limited face-to-face. Iyong iba naman ay magbubukas ng online tapos magshi-shift sa limited face-to-face ‘pag okay na ang kalagayan ng kanilang mga lugar," he said.
(Many of the under Alert Level 3 decided that they will open limited face-to-face classes, if ever, by February. Other decided to open online then shift to limited face-to-face once the situation in their areas improved.)
He said universities agreed to be regularly briefed online by health experts to help them anticipate COVID-19 trends.
The Philippines this week breached 3 million overall coronavirus infections.
On Wednesday, the country logged its highest number of active cases so far as it also announced 32,246 new COVID-19 cases, data from the health department showed.
Authorities have tightened restrictions in Metro Manila and several other areas in a bid to curb the uptick in infections.