MANILA — The Commission on Higher Education leaves it up to colleges and universities to decide on their respective return to full in-person classes, Chairman Prospero de Vera said Wednesday.
This comes a day after the Department of Education (DepEd) said it would no longer allow distance and blended learning in elementary and secondary schools starting November, in a bid to bring back in-person classes at full capacity.
The CHED will not issue a blanket policy on the resumption of full in-person classes because unlike in basic education where there is only one curriculum, degree programs in higher education institutions (HEIs) are “constructed differently,” De Vera explained.
“Some degree programs really need a lot of face-to-face [instruction], especially skills-based programs, while other programs can be delivered via flexible learning,” he said in an online press conference.
“So we are leaving it up to the universities to decide what is the appropriate mix,” he said, noting that other HEIs have been implementing flexible learning even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite this, De Vera anticipates “a very significant shift to face-to-face classes” in higher education in the coming academic year, he said.
“But we cannot have face-to-face [classes] for all degree programs,” he added.
In-person classes were banned in early 2020 due to COVID-19, forcing Philippine schools to shift to remote learning. Colleges and universities have gradually resumed the traditional classroom setup since last year.
De Vera has said flexible learning could become the new normal for HEIs in the coming years.