CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Feb. 26 (PIA) -- The city government of San Fernando has allowed Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU) to gradually resume with limited face-to-face classes amidst the pandemic.
Mayor Edwin Santiago said the city government awarded Certificate of Compliance to the university after retrofitting its campus in compliance with the minimum public health standards and safety protocols set by the local government unit (LGU).
"We have been back-to-work and back-to-business. Now we are trying to go back-to-school. We are the first LGU in Central Luzon to re-open. This is a big contribution to the city and national government because we must still continue to produce graduates especially in the medicine and science programs which is what we need most during this pandemic, "Santiago said.
For its part, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said they gave OLFU the go signal for the resumption of limited face-to-face classes after it passed the provisions stated under Joint Memorandum Circular 2021-001 or the "Guidelines on the Gradual Re-opening of Campuses of Higher Educational Institutions for Limited Face-To-Face Classes During the COVID-19 Pandemic", which is limited only to selected health-related degree programs including Medicine, Nursing, Medical Technology/Medical Laboratory Science, Midwifery, Physical Therapy and Public Health.
"We want to prioritize health-related degree programs because they are regarded as vital in providing additional manpower support in the health system during this pandemic. OLFU as the first university in the entire region to re-open face-to-face classes, will also serve as the model of other Higher Educational Institutions," CHED Regional Director Maria Teresita Semana said.
Meanwhile, OLFU President Caroline Marian Enriquez said they'll start re-opening Nursing, Med Tech, and Physical Therapy programs towards the last week of the semester.
She said they will open their Nursing program limited to about 50 students, MedTech to 100 students, and Physical Therapy to 14 students.
"This will not be simultaneous, but will be done gradually. It will also be voluntary for students to go to school. They will have the option to attend the face-to-face classes or go online, because only 20 years old and above can go to campus, "Enriquez added.
Meanwhile, she assured students and parents of quality education without compromising their health and safety by strictly adhering to the protocols of the LGU, CHED, and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. (CLJD/MJSC-PIA 3)