The University of the Immaculate Conception, one of the pioneering schools in Davao City, has started its limited face-to-face classes on 6 September 2021.
Following the guidelines set in Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2021-001 issued by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Department of Health (DOH), UIC has opened its Bonifacio Campus to its 4th year Bachelor of Science Medical Laboratory (BSMLS) students.
According to UIC President Sr. Marissa R. Viri, RVM, the limited reopening was “considered to enhance the students’ technical competence in the performance of clinical laboratory tests in aid of diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases vis-à-vis biosafety and waste management”. She explained that “hands-on practice is necessary to achieve this and the other qualities a graduate of BSMLS should possess”. She further said that “the limited face-to-face internship held at the in-campus Clinical Laboratory and Training Center, the only one in Davao Region, is CHED accredited and has a DOH License to Operate as a training laboratory. The BS Nursing also applied for limited face-to-face classes for fourth-year students at the Fr. Selga campus and awaiting the Certificate of Authority from the CHED Regional Office.”
The objectives of the joint circular state, “This issuance shall serve as a guide for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) intending to hold limited face-to-face classes during the COVID-19 pandemic and are willing to assume the responsibilities for the reopening of their campuses based on their capability to comply with health and safety protocols, to retrofit their facilities, and to get the support of their stakeholders.”
It can be recalled that all classes were suspended in March 2020 due to public health emergency to mitigate the transmission of the disease. Since then, classes have been held in flexible learning terms.
For the gradual reopening of campuses of HEIs for limited face-to-face classes, the following health-related degree programs deemed necessary in providing additional support to the health system during the pandemic have been prioritized: Medicine, Nursing, Medical Technology/Medical Laboratory Science, Physical Therapy, Midwifery, Public Health.