Full classroom capacity now allowed for colleges, universities under Alert Level 1

The government has finally allowed higher education institutions in areas under Alert Level 1 to use classrooms at 100% capacity. However, only fully vaccinated students and academic staff are allowed entry into school premises.

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has allowed higher educational institutions (HEIs) in areas under the most lenient alert level 1 to hold face-to-face classes at 100-percent capacity.

Acting deputy presidential spokesperson Kris Ablan made the announcement in a Palace briefing last March 11, citing IATF Resolution 164. 

However, only fully vaccinated teachers, non-teaching personnel and students are allowed to participate in in-person classes.

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students in Alert Level 1 areas, meanwhile, will remain under flexible learning modalities.

Ablan said HEIs that will decide to resume classes at full capacity must also comply with the following guidelines:

  • HEIs must make a self-assessment checklist. 
  • It is up to the HEI to determine which learning mode will be used during the in-person classes “as long as there will be continuity of learning under any flexible learning modality.”
  • Student dormitories may operate, provided that they coordinate with the local government. 
  • HEIs “shall ensure” that students who will attend their face-to-face classes are registered with PhilHealth or any insurance provider “which covers medical expenses related to COVID-19, as either direct or indirect contributor.”

Under the IATF resolution, students joining the in-person classes must be registered with the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) or any medical insurance covering expenses for COVID-19.

It added students aged 21 and above with no visible means of income may enroll in PhilHealth as indigent members, while those younger may be classified as dependents of their parents or legal guardians.

The IATF has also left the discretion to HEIs to choose which learning modalities they would use.

In another related development, the Department of Education (DepEd) announced schools in areas under Alert Level 1 and 2 can hold in-person graduation and recognition rites. 

Cavite, Metro Manila, and several other areas have been placed under Alert Level 1 until March 15. 

Thumbnail photo courtesy of DLSU-Dasmariñas

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