MANILA - The Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila has started limited face-to-face classes in its College of Medicine after securing clearance from the Commission on Higher Education.
Over 100 students are now undergoing hands-on medical clerkship, a requirement for graduation, at the Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center.
“They are done in batches. About 3 weeks ago when we started (limited face-to-face classes),” PLM President Emmanuel Leyco told ABS-CBN News on Wednesday.
“Everything is done online except for the clerkship. They’re in the hospital only during the day. Ang required sa kanila ay 12 days lang (We required 12 days of clerkship from them). By July, matatapos na lahat sila (they are expected to be done), in time for graduation.”
Medical students are not assigned to emergency rooms and COVID wards, Leyco said. They were also subjected to confirmatory swab tests before pursuing their medical clerkship at the hospital, he added.
“Eight hours a day required ang students to be there, but they are only limited to specific services— definitely, hindi sa (not in) COVID wards,” he said.
Students are also given the same personal protective equipment that doctors use.
“Meron din silang PPEs, full PPEs ang binibigay sa kanila. 'Pag may symptoms, sana naman wala, right away they are tested. So far, wala naman kaming ganung cases,” Leyco said.
(They also wear full PPEs. If they have symptoms, right away they are tested. So far there are no cases like that.)
The president of the government-funded university said education, especially among medicine students, must continue during the COVID-19 pandemic, so that the emergence of health workers will be unhampered.
“Magdodoktor sila, mahirap naman gumraduate na wala silang experience na humarap sa mga pasyente. Requirement 'yan to ensure na ang ga-graduate na mga doctor ay ready,” Leyco said.
(They will become doctors, it would be difficult if they graduated without any experience in facing patients. It's a requirement to ensure that the graduates are ready.)
“Sa part ng PLM (For PLM's part), we want to contribute to the continuous flow of medical professionals, lalo ngayong pandemya (especially during the pandemic),” he added.
Leyco said the decision to resume face-to-face learning was carefully discussed with students, parents, faculty members and practicing doctors.
“We don’t know what’s happening between the hospital and their places of residence. Mahalaga na alam ng mga estudyante, guro at magulang ano ang gawin para maiwasan ang impeksyon sa atin,” Leyco said.
(It's important that the student, teacher, and parents know what to do to avoid infection.)
“Ibang iba ang experience na nagtuturo sa Zoom. Di mo alam kung nagkakaunawaan ba kayo. Di pareho ang experience pag kasama kayo sa classroom. Mahalagang makabalik ang mga eskwelahan sa tamang lugar at tamang paraan (ng pagtuturo).”
(Teaching via Zoom is different. You don't know if you understand each other. It's not the same experience when you're together in a classroom. It's important for education to resume at the right place and the right way.)
The College of Nursing and College of Physical Therapy, meanwhile, are finalizing which laboratory courses will be covered by the limited face-to-face classes.
“Ang education natin nagkaroon talaga ng bagong anyo. Hindi na pwede ang gaya dati na dikit-dikit. Ang aming mga laboratories at classrooms hinahanda na rin namin sa pagkakaroon ng physical distancing," Leyco said.
(Our education is changing form. It can't be like before when students are close to each other. We're preparing our laboratories and classrooms for physical distancing.)
"Binabawasan na namin ang (kapasidad ng) aming mga kwarto, pero kailangan namin ng mas malaking pamantasan, which is not possible at this time. Merong mga klase that will remain online, merong iba na pwede nang buksan sa pamantasan."
(We're also decreasing the capacity of our room, we need a bigger university, which is not possible at this time. Some classes will remain online but some can be held on site.)