The University of the Philippines (UP) has updated its guidelines for campus activities in the first semester of the Academic Year (AY) 2022-2023, following the August 29 press conference by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
In the press conference, CHED declared that unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff might return to campus for work and classes this semester, with higher education institutions (HEIs) deciding on their respective public health protocols. Further, CHED called on HEIs to facilitate the vaccination of the unvaccinated and partially vaccinated, as well as the booster shots of the fully vaccinated with either one or no booster dose.
The UP Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (OVPAA) issued the new guidelines through OVPAA Memorandum No. 2022-128 on September 1. The memo details the protocols for different campus activities, from no alert level to alert level 5. For all activities, the following are mandatory: (1) masks to be worn at all times as required by national authorities; (2) daily reports to the campus’ health monitoring system by faculty and staff conducting face-to-face (F2F) activities; (3) signages on minimum public health standards and other physical requirements; and, (4) pre-enrollment physical examination for students who started their programs in AY 2020-2021 and AY 2021-2022, or their submission of the medical clearance required for registration if they failed to submit this when they first enrolled in UP.
From no alert level to alert level 5, a variation of UP’s three blended learning models will be used as class delivery modes for enrolled students (ES) and students of priority classes (PC). The latter refers to those with F2F activities for thesis, dissertation, internship, practicum, on-the-job training, special problem, or field studies, or those with essential F2F sessions that require the use of campus facilities and equipment or supervised hands-on practice.
As explained in OVPAA Memorandum No. 2022-88 released on June 20, blended learning model 1 is fully online. It employs both synchronous online learning using a learning management system (LMS) and asynchronous online learning using web conferencing applications. Model 2 combines blocks of independent online study and intensive F2F sessions based on pedagogical and practical considerations. Model 3 alternates between F2F sessions and asynchronous online learning.
Any of the three models may be used for ES and PC if there is no alert level and under alert level 1. For alert levels 2 and 3, model 1 will be for ES and any of the three models will be for PC. Under alert levels 4 and 5, only model 1 will be employed for ES and PC.
Allowable indoor capacity when there is no alert level will be at 100%. It will be the same for alert level 1, but preferably with one-meter physical distance. Alert level 2 will be at 50% with one-meter physical distance and alert level 3 will maintain the said physical distance at 30% capacity. Rooms to be used should have proper ventilation. There will be no indoor activities for alert levels 4 and 5.
When there is no alert level, classroom access will be allowed for ES. Under alert level 1, ES will still have access, preferably with one-meter physical distance. For alert levels 2 and 3, only PC will have classroom access. There will be no access under alert levels 4 and 5.
With no alert level, access to other enclosed spaces such as libraries, learning hubs, offices, and sports facilities will be allowed for ES. Under alert level 1, ES will have access with the preferred one-meter physical distance. PC with approved reservations will be allowed access under alert levels 2 and 3; and there will be no access under alerts levels 4 and 5.
From no alert level to alert level 3, ES will be allowed to use outdoor and open spaces on campus. Under alert levels 4 and 5, neither ES nor PC will be allowed to use such areas.
Off-campus activities like internships and outreach programs will be allowed for ES when there is no alert level and when under alert level 1. These will be allowed for PC only under alert levels 2 and 3, and will not be allowed under alert levels 4 and 5. In instances where off-campus activities will be allowed, documentary requirements should have been fully satisfied prior to the start of the activities. Students should follow the alert level requirements of the localities where the activities will be conducted.
From no alert level to alert level 3, access to accommodation facilities on campus will be allowed for ES. They may be allowed to share rooms with appropriate retrofitting as long as the facility has isolation capabilities. Under alert levels 4 and 5, access to campus accommodations will not be allowed, so students on campus must return home should these alert levels be imposed. The constituent universities may opt to let their students stay until the end of the semester or term if provisions can be ensured.
From no alert level to alert level 3, general and comprehensive examinations will be allowed on campus for ES with permits only. The exams will be given online, under alert levels 4 and 5.
Finally, F2F consultations with advisers and faculty members will be allowed for ES when there is no alert level. Under alert levels 1 to 3, ES will need appointments for F2F consultations. For alert levels 4 and 5, consultations will be done online.
To read the full memo with the attached F2F guidance from the Hospital Infection Control Unit of the UP Philippine General Hospital, click here.