UST will open its gates to students for the first time in 15 months on Wednesday, June 9, for limited face-to-face classes for clinical clerks from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.

Under a Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) directive, the on-site clerkship is required for graduating clerks to be conferred the doctor of medicine degree.

The limited face-to-face classes will last until July 10.

Clinical Clerks Council President Michael Cuevas told the Varsitarian that the University had placed sufficient measures to ensure the safe conduct of on-site classes.

“The facilities to be used have been arranged for the supposed start last March, so they just tweaked the schedule,” he said.

The University planned to start limited face-to-face classes in March, but was sidetracked by a surge in Covid-19 cases and the discovery of multiple coronavirus variants in Metro Manila cities.

UST has also released guidelines in preparation for the reopening of its gates.

Aside from observing health protocols, all students are required to update their health status every day using the application and present their UST identification cards before entering the University. 

Building gates will open at 7:30 a.m. for the morning shift and 12:30 p.m. for the afternoon shift.

Pedestrians and dropped-off clerks are allowed to enter and exit Gate 11 on Dapitan Street. Clerks driving their own vehicles are allowed to use the gate on Lacson Street.

Clerks are discouraged from loitering around the campus and must leave after their shifts. 

They are also prohibited from leaving the premises during the shift and are required to bring their own food and drinks before entering the grounds. No food deliveries are allowed.

All clerks were required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 before attending in-person classes.

During their orientation on June 7, the graduating clinical clerks were given their schedule for rotations, which includes both on-site duty and online classes.

Meya de Castro, another clinical clerk, told the Varsitarian that they were divided into groups so they could strictly follow health protocols while doing their clerkships.

Fearful yet excited

Cuevas said that while he was afraid of catching the virus, he was also “a little bit excited” to go back to the campus after a year of online clerkship to acquire skills via real-life experience.

De Castro said she was grateful to experience face-to-face learning again and maximize the last weeks of her clerkship. 

“Although we are not allowed to handle actual patients due to this pandemic, at least we were given a chance to practice and satisfy the clinical competencies expected from us clinical clerks,” she said.

The University has retrofitted its facilities and passed inspections by health authorities, thecity government and higher education officials. 


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