Ched 7: Over 104K college students in Central Visayas vaxxed against Covid-19

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THE Commission on Higher Education Central Visayas (Ched 7) reported on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021 that more than 104,000 college students have already been vaccinated against Covid-19, or over 33 percent of the total 313,352 students in the region.

Ched 7 Director Dr. Maximo Aljibe told SunStar Cebu that they are strengthening their vaccination campaign so that higher education institutions (HEIs) can proceed with face-to-face (F2F) classes.

“There will be town hall meetings between the local government units (LGU) and HEIs to find out which areas are already prepared to conduct limited F2F,” he said.

There are already 7,670 who were vaccinated out of nearly 12,000 teaching staff, which translates to 64 percent.

For non-teaching staff, 4,268 were already vaccinated out of more than 6,000 or 71 percent.

Since September, the government has allowed limited face-to-face classes for five more college degree programs that require hands-on experience.

The programs are engineering and technology, hospitality/hotel and restaurant management, tourism/travel management, marine engineering and marine transportation.

Since January 2021, the government has allowed medical and other allied health courses to conduct limited face-to-face classes.

Authorization

On Monday, Nov. 15, Ched Chairperson Prospero de Vera announced that colleges and universities in areas under Alert Level 2 in the country can start applying for authorization in December this year to hold face-to-face classes for all degree programs.

De Vera said they proposed to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the holding of expanded face-to-face classes in higher education institutions (HEI) in areas under the Alert Level System, but the rollout will be done in phases.

Phase 1 will start in December this year in all regions under Alert Level 2, while Phase 2 will start in January 2022 in all regions under Alert Level 3.

“This is without prejudice to HEIs applying earlier than the period of implementation,” read the presentation shown by De Vera during the briefing Monday before the House committee on higher and technical education chaired by Baguio City Rep. Mark Go.

The IATF, on Nov. 2, allowed the conduct of limited in-person classes in areas under Alert Levels 1, 2 and 3.

Requirements

De Vera clarified that interested schools may apply for authorization for the expanded rollout in December, provided that their facilities have been retrofitted.

This means that their facility must have adequate ventilation; table-chair layout adheres to the physical distancing of 1.5 meters; there are visible and readable signage of health and safety reminders, as well as markings on the floor to direct one-way foot traffic; and hand washing stations are present.

He stressed that there must also be concurrence or support from the local government units (LGUs) to conduct face-to-face classes, and that the HEIs must have a system to ensure that only fully vaccinated teaching and non-teaching personnel, as well as students can enter the campus premises.

“HEIs shall inform those who are 65 years of age, with uncontrolled health risks, and/or pregnant women intending to join limited face-to-face classes of the risk of contracting Covid-19 and to consider flexible learning,” Ched stated. (JOB, LMY / SunStar Philippines)

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