by Francis Ryan Pabiania and Ranjie Mae Nocete | December 19, 2021
Dr. Earl Jude Cleope, Vice President for Academic Affairs, confirmed that face-to-face classes will resume in February “at most’, along with several colleges and universities in the country which have already started their limited F2F classes.
He said that Silliman University (SU) cannot yet open the campus for F2F classes at the start of the second semester because the university will host the biggest bar examinations that were moved to January 16 until February 6 next year.
“So, at most, the face-to-face classes will begin by the second or third week of February. Right now, all the units are submitting, from their curriculum, specifications on what are the subjects that they really need for face-to-face [classes],” said Cleope.
Despite the Alert Level 2 status of Dumaguete City, the bi-weekly proclamation of the president and the advisory from the Department of Health (DOH) and National Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) are among the guide considerations that are being monitored.
“We have to be careful and watch out with whatever will come out because, under the CHED rules, only those [areas under] Alert Level 2 and down are allowed. But, when it goes to Alert Level 3, everything will go back to ODL [online distance learning]. And considering that students in Silliman come from all over the country, we should also consider the transport, lodging, and everything,” said Cleope.
Cleope also emphasized that there are subjects that are not necessary to be delivered in a F2F setup and are expected to maintain the ODL modality. However, other subjects will have a blended approach for F2F classes, meeting only a few times in a week or month.
Cleope also shared that they are also appealing to the principal of the senior high school (SHS) department for the possibility of Grade 12 students having F2F classes in the second half of the second semester. He said that there is a “big possibility that the Grade 12 [students] will be allowed [to have their F2F classes].”
Dr. Cleope added that this will not be for all subjects and that provisions will be made for those students who cannot attend F2F classes. He said that the deans, principals, and faculty are doing their best. “We owe it to the Grade 12, to give them F2F.”
As of this time, Cleope said that all units have already submitted ‘specifications’ from their curriculum on which subjects need F2F. “This is now based on the assessment of the faculty and the deans and the chairs.”
When asked about the ‘setup’ for students who weren’t vaccinated, Cleope said, “CHED has already issued a statement saying that all students should be vaccinated. The school’s policy is that those who are not vaccinated cannot really join F2F classes.”
However, Dr. Cleope shared, “If we start with the policy for the faculty and staff, the HRD [Human Resource Development] has issued a memo saying that those who will not submit to vaccination for personal reasons are allowed to enter the campus as long as they will present a negative RT-PCR test every two weeks at their own cost.”
He added that unvaccinated students who have subjects that require F2F classes may be subjected to the said requirement.
On the possibility of school-based vaccination, Cleope shared the school is currently studying it, especially for the boosters. “We need to have guidelines from the IATF for vaccination because they really set the rules that only the government can purchase and distribute. So if they will ease it up a little bit and let the private sector also procure vaccines, our SUMC (Silliman University Medical Center) is already an accredited vaccination center,” he stated.
Cleope added that there’s a scheduled dean’s conference meeting on December 17 to discuss and approve policies and guidelines for the university regarding F2F classes. “Then we will send it to the [university] president for approval. And hopefully, by enrollment time, this can already be shared to the students,” Cleope ended.