THE SURGE in Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila has delayed the University’s preparations for the expansion of limited face-to-face (F2F) classes to non-medicine and health allied programs, the Office of the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs said.  

“At the moment, our preparations for the expansion of limited [F2F] classes to other programs have been hampered by the current surge of cases of Covid-19 in the country,” Vice Rector for Academic Affairs Cheryl Peralta told the Varsitarian

According to Peralta, the University Crisis Management Committee (UCMC) has approved the resumption of limited in-person classes in more academic programs.

However, because of the latest spike in Covid-19 cases which has prompted the suspension of classes and work in the University, the retrofitting of facilities and submission of requirements necessary for the expansion of F2F classes in these programs were held up. 

“[O]ur submission of CHEd (Commission on Higher Education) requirements is dependent upon the complete retrofitting of identified facilities and our receipt of the written approval of the LGU (local government unit) of Manila, among other documentary requirements,” Peralta said.

“We continue with our preparations as soon as work resumes,” she added.

Classes and work in UST are suspended until Jan. 21 in line with the health break ordered by Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.

READ: UST complies with Manila’s ‘health break’; enrollment to resume Jan. 24-25

Peralta said some academic units had been conducting risk assessments and looking into the “health status of the University staff and students who will participate in limited F2F classes, the nature of the learning outcomes that need to be accomplished and the program-specific government policies for limited F2F classes.”

CHEd Chairman Prospero de Vera III on Jan. 11 announced that the second phase of the gradual resumption of limited F2F classes in Alert Level 3 areas would start on Jan. 31.

De Vera would later clarify that the Jan. 31 date was only a “reference point” and schools under Alert Level 3 could start F2F classes at a later date.

He also stressed that participation in F2F classes was not mandatory.

Metro Manila is under Alert Level 3 until the end of the month. Faith Yuen Wei Ragasa with reports from Christine Joyce Paras


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