MANILA, Philippines — Several colleges are now on the verge of closing due to the very low number of enrollees for the coming school year, according to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
In the press briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte, CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera reported the problem that these college institutions and local governments are facing for the coming school year.
“Humihingi po ng guidance yung mga private schools in particular tsaka local governments kasi hindi po nila alam ang gagawin lalo na sa mga area na wala po talagang internet connection [The private schools, in particular, and the local governments are asking for guidance as they do not know what to do, especially in areas where there is no internet connection],” Chairman de Vera said.
“Meron na pong ilang eskwelahan ang nagsabi sa CHED na magsasara sila dahil yung enrollment po ay talagang mababa. Natatakot po yung mga magulang at mga estudyante [Several schools already told CHED that they are closing because their enrollment is really low],” he added.
De Vera also admitted that they do not have a ready guideline for these learning institutes that are closing as this is just the first time that the commission has experienced a pandemic.
De Vera, however, reported the commission’s plan to offer the subjects that need personal appearance, such as laboratories, on the job trainings, and internships in January or the second semester of the school year.
Lectures that may be done online, on the other hand, will be offered in the first semester.
“The options will be from the more open limited face to face in low-risk MGCQ areas to the most conservative. Do it sa (in the) second semester,” de Vera said.
Meanwhile, the National Action Plan Against COVID-19 will conduct an inspection in areas that are now under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) for possible limited face-to-face classes.
NTF Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr said they will look into the compliance of schools on the set health protocols.
Galvez said playgrounds will be closed, and buffet setup will not be allowed in school canteen and cafeterias as these areas are believed to be where viruses, such as COVID-19 breed and easily spread.
They will also check on the provision of separate entry and exit points of schools, as well as, a possible limit of 10 students per classroom set-up, in case face to face classes will be allowed.
“Yan po ang recommendation ko, Mr.President. If we will really decide na magkaroon tayo ng 10 per classroom, tingnan po natin po yung mga strategies natin na magkakaroon po o makikita natin na mga 96% walang transmission or even 100% na ma-ensure natin na magkakaroon po tayo ng redundant preventive measures para hindi po tayo magkaroon ng transmission,” Galvez said.
[That is my recommendation, Mr. President. If we will decide to have 10 per classroom, let’s look at our strategies to come up with 96% no transmission, r\or even 100%. That we can ensure that we will have redundant preventive measures so that we will no have transmission.]
Secretary Galvez also proposed to the President to have private school students who stay in dormitories to undergo swab testing to check if they are COVID-free or not.—(from the report of Joan Nano) /mbmf