Silliman University will welcome the school year 2021-2022 still in Online Distance Learning (ODL) modality, this was confirmed by university Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Earl Jude Cleope.
“It would be safe to assume for planning purposes for everyone that the first semester of the school year 21-22 will still be on ODL,” he said.
Cleope cited that numerous factors including the surge and increase in the number of COVID-19 cases resulted in the decision.
“Take a look at the numbers and another important consideration is the mutation of the virus, what is going on in India.”
VPAA bared that it is safe to assume that not all of the teachers and students will be vaccinated in the next two months. Summer classes will also be conducted in ODL set-up.
Cleope also pointed out that the availability of vaccines does not help the situation. Although he said that the arrival of the vaccines will most likely happen by September or October, the proper and actual vaccination is still a question.
“The roll-out of the vaccines although the government wants to have a fast roll-out and all of us but logistically, realistically, we don’t see that coming,” he added.
The university looks forward to the possibility of starting the second semester next school year with limited face-to-face classes for the fourth year students and later on with the gradual.
Cleope explained that full face-to-face classes are unlikely to happen since the university needs to consider that most of the students and even faculty members are not from Dumaguete City only. This prompted them to plan for a blended learning modality as the best possible option in the meantime.
“They come from all over the place so that’s the nightmare, but as of now that would be the best system.”
If everything will go as scheduled, a decision will be known by October or November according to Cleope.
“Hopefully we pray that next second sem come January of 2022 we might be able to start with a limited face-to-face.”
Silliman just like any Higher Education Institutions is still awaiting for further memorandum order from Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
As of now, only approval for limited face-to-face classes for medical and allied health programs is on the table and no other program is approved yet by CHED.
Cleope assured that once there is a memorandum issued by CHED, the university is on stand-by and ready to comply with the requirements. An inspection of the facilities by the local COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force will follow through and the university has to comply with whatever deficiencies they need before getting approval.