The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has completed its fact-finding report and will issue a show cause order on the alleged violations of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and CHED Advisories by the Isabela Colleges, Inc.
Recently, a student from a private higher education institution (HEI) located in the City of Cauayan, Isabela, tested positive for COVID-19 and that City Health Officials were tracing up to forty-five (45) contacts of the said student, identified by the Department of Health (DOH) Region 2 as CV969. The report indicated that CV969 attended on 29 August 2020 an orientation conducted by the HEI intended for post-Baccalaureate students.
CHED Regional Office II conducted validation of the information and has confirmed that Isabela Colleges started conducting the series of orientations on 29 August 2020 and that CV969 is an employee of the local government unit (LGU) of the City of Cauayan taking professional education courses in Isabela Colleges.
Isabela Colleges confirmed that it conducted Saturday classes for the CPE program effective 24 August 2020, allegedly in order to serve as the orientation sessions of the students.
“The CHED Advisories have consistently advised HEIs to refrain from conducting face-to-face or in-person classes or mass gatherings in their campuses. This has been disseminated in the print and broadcast media and in several zoom meetings with HEIs considering the threat of community transmission due to the mass gathering of students. The CHED has not issued any policy to allow face-to-face classes and the IATF clearly states that limited face-to-face classes in low risk MGCQ areas must comply with CHED guidelines,” said CHED Chairman J. Prospero E. De Vera III.
On 24 May 2020, CHED issued CHED COVID Advisory No. 7. Under Section A (f), mass gatherings are prohibited. HEIs are prevented from conducting in-person graduation ceremonies and other school activities until the prohibition for mass gathering is lifted.
Under Section 17 of BP 232, every school shall be accountable for the efficient and effective administration and management of the school and assume and maintain professional behavior in his work and in dealing with students, teachers, academic non-teaching personnel, administrative staff, and parents or guardians. In case of failure to comply with the condition or obligations prescribed by this Code (BP 232) or its implementing rules and regulations, gross inefficiency of the teaching or non-teaching personnel, the Minister of Education, Culture and Sports, now CHED, may prescribe and impose such administrative sanctions as he may deem reasonable and appropriate in the implementing rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to BP 232.
CHED will therefore issue a show cause order for the institution, giving them a period of ten (10) days from now why no sanctions should be imposed upon its officials, teaching or non-teaching personnel for its failure to comply with CHED’s directives/advisories and therefore maintain professional behavior in dealing with its students and be accountable for the efficient and effective administration and management of the school.
Isabela Colleges should immediately stop conducting face-to-face classes until the issuance of CHED Guidelines.
J. PROSPERO E. DE VERA III, DPA
Commission on Higher Education