CHED6: Health is our primary concern

By Leonard T. Pineda I

An official of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in Western Visayas said that health remains as the top concern and higher education institutions (HEIs) should respect the decision of families in case they do not send their children to school due to safety concerns.

In a media release, Dr. Rex Casiple, CHED-6 Chief Education Program Specialist, said that the opening of classes for the Academic Year 2020-2021 shall be based on the HEI’s delivery mode subject to comply with minimum health standards and the situation on the ground.

“In this historical period of COVID-19 pandemic, health is our primary concern,” he said.

Based on the latest advisory from CHED, HEIs using full online education can open any time after May 31, 2020; HEIs using flexible learning can open any time in August 2020; and HEIs using significant face-to-face or in person mode can open not earlier than September 1, 2020.

“Flexible enrollment procedures should be implemented, in coordination with local health officials and the local government unit, such as, online enrollment and payment through remittance services, scheduling of students who will be allowed to enroll on any given day, opening of satellite enrollment sites as practicable,” Casiple said.

He added that HEIs should prepare their facilities to comply with minimum health standards such as mandatory wearing of masks, hand washing and sanitation practices, safe physical distancing, reconfiguration of classroom spaces, provision of markers in public places, and prohibition of mass gathering, among others.

“They should do consultation with local health officials and local government units to determine the health situation in the locality, availability of public transportation, and other support services necessary for their operation,” he said.

Casiple said that schools should prepare contingency or continuity plan as to the precautionary and other health protocols in case there are suspected or confirmed cases.

“Flexible learning strategy or mode in delivering instruction if adopted by some qualified HEIs should ensure appropriate facility delivery system, faculty complement, and student support,” he said.

He added that a week before enrollment period, HEIs should inform their students on the enrollment process and specific education delivery mode that they will implement. (PIA)