/ 20 April 2021

COMMISSION on Higher Education Chairperson Prospero De Vera III and representatives from the Department of Health and the city government of Manila on Monday inspected the retrofitted classrooms of the Centro Escolar University- Manila.

The joint inspection team gauged the CEU’s readiness to conduct limited face-to-face classes in May and June this year.

In February, the city government of Manila approved CEU’s request to hold limited F2F classes for its graduating Dentistry students.

CEU President Ma. Cristina Padolina said that the practical classes would only take four consecutive days.

Padolina added that the students have finished all other requirements except their practicum.

De Vera said that they would have approved CEU’s request earlier had his office known the content of the program.

“[If] I would have seen this last year, malalaman na ang gusto pala sa Dentistry ay ‘yung hands-on lang na nag-aayos ng ngipin et cetera, ‘yun lang pala. Wala silang regular classes na ipe-face-to-face nila. It’s all skills-based, it’s all laboratory-based. Had I known that last year, I would have included them already, pero walang nag-retrofit,” De Vera said.

He also mentioned the retrofitting done by Our Lady of Fatima University for its College of Medicine last year.

“’Yung Fatima nag-retrofit October of last year pa, retrofitted na sila, so madali ko ma-visualize. But now that I have visualized it, I know, I now see that it is viable, after looking at it,” he added.

The higher education chair advised other institutions to present their own guidelines specific to the programs they plan to hold in-person to be approved for limited face-to-face classes.

“In fact ‘yun ang recommendation ko. Kasi ‘yung marami, hinihintay na CHED and gumawa ng detailed guidelines. Ang sabi ko, ‘di naman ako dentistry graduate, how will I know what to put there? They do the first draft, they defend it before the Commission, the Commission will revise, will amend, and then the Commission will approve,” De Vera said.

“So I told the other degree programs like Engineering, Information Technology, the dean would already craft the basic guidelines then discuss it with the technical experts from CHED until the Commission looks at it. Kasi sa Engineering for example, hindi ko alam kung anong subjects sa Engineering and hindi mo puwedeng i-virtual class? Anong subjects? It is the Engineering deans and faculty to know that. I wouldn’t know,” he added.

Optional limited face-to-face classes for the 500 graduating CEU Dentistry students will start in May. Only 36 students per class will be accommodated during the four days of practical classes. Classes will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.