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CHED: News reports on face-to-face classes in July not true

Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman Prospero de Vera III said on Wednesday, June 24, that news reports on supposed “face-to-face” classes in July are not true. 

In a statement sent to media, De Vera said "reporters may have misunderstood my television interview yesterday (June 23)."

De Vera appeared in CNN Philippines' news program News Ngayon on Tuesday afternoon.

De Vera said during their last coronavirus task force meeting, a new category was formed called MGCQ or modified general community quarantine for "low risk geographic areas" that have no new COVID-19 cases in the last 28 days and where health facilities are able to handle cases. 

He added that, in the meeting, the task force allowed the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to have limited face-to-face technical and vocational training beginning July. 

"This is the reason why CHED, in consultation with the Department of Health, is now crafting guidelines for possible limited face-to-face classes in low risk MGCQ areas as part of the flexible learning system," De Vera said. 

De Vera said CHED plans to submit the guidelines to the task force by late June or early July. (READ: CHED: ‘Limited’ face-to-face classes may be allowed in coronavirus-free areas)

"If approved, I will personally visit the higher education institutions (HEIs) who will redesign their classrooms, libraries, auditoriums, cafeterias and other facilities based on health protocols and guidelines and see if limited face-to-face is possible in low risk MGCQ areas," De Vera said.

On May 14, the government's coronavirus task force approved the CHED resolution to open classes in colleges and universities based on mode of teaching, with the educational institutions that use "flexible" learning allowed to open anytime in August.

"Flexible learning" for higher education institutions involves a combination of digital and non-digital technology, which CHED says doesn't necessarily require connectivity to the internet. (READ: During pandemic, student climbs a mountain to send class requirement)

Last May, experts at the University of the Philippines warned the transmission of COVID-19 might increase should face-to-face classes open in Metro Manila schools in August and September.

The Philippines recorded its highest single-day rise in cases on Tuesday, with 1,150 new cases confirmed. The increase brings the total number of cases to 31,285, including 1,186 deaths and 8,442 recoveries. – Rappler.com

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.

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