by KRISTINE ERIKA L. AGUSTIN and MATTHEW DAVE A. JUCOM
THE UNIVERSITY may apply for limited face-to-face classes for the rest of the degree programs before December once the proposals of the academic units are approved by the University Crisis Management Committee (UCMC), top administrators said.
“As soon as the proposals of academic units are approved by the UCMC, the retrofitted facilities are ready for visit, and the documentary requirements have been completed by the academic units, we can submit their applications even before December as was relayed during the town hall meeting with CHED,” Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs Cheryl Peralta and Secretary General Fr. Louie Coronel, O.P. said in a joint statement sent to The Flame.
The government’s COVID-19 inter-agency task force has allowed the resumption of limited in-person classes to all degree programs in areas under Alert Levels 1,2, and 3, adopting the proposal of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
Under Resolution 148-G released last Tuesday, all higher education institutions under Alert Level 2 may apply in December during the first phase of the implementation period, while those under Alert Level 3 may apply during the second phase, starting January next year.
Once approved, the limited face-to-face classes in UST would be expanded to other programs in which intended learning outcomes cannot be fully achieved through online classes, they said.
“These will mainly be skills-based courses that require in-person instruction. We will likewise determine which year levels and courses will be prioritized per program to progressively increase the number of students and academic staff who will enter the campus at any given time,” the officials said.
Policies for students’ safe return
The academic units are currently consulting with the stakeholders to prepare appropriate plans that would fit their programs, they said.
The health and safety protocols already established include the protocol for contact tracing and reporting of cases; screening and detection, containment and lockdown protocols; protocol for referral and transfer; and the protocol for isolation, quarantine, and COVID-19 testing.
The university has also implemented a protocol on ID-tapping, where the student’s health declaration form in Thomasian Online Medical Services and Support (ThoMedSS) will be verified after tapping one’s ID, the statement read.
The process automatically records the students’ temperature after using the thermal scanner and confirms their schedule if they are allowed to enter the campus.
The officials also said they are planning to improve the ID-tapping system by including the vaccination status of the students in accordance with the ThoMedSS data.
“Approval of the proposals of the academic units will have to be rendered by the University Crisis Management Committee before submitting the same to government regulatory bodies,” they said.
The university started its limited face-to-face classes in medical and allied health programs last June. F
Editor’s note: The Flame edited this article after the Office of the Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs (OVRAA) and the Office of the Secretary-General (OSG) clarified that this is not the first time the university is applying for limited face-to-face classes.
The OVRAA and OSG added that the University’s application depends on the UCMC’s approval of the academic units’ proposals.
The original article stated that the University started its limited in-person classes in medical and allied health programs last June.