GOING F2F. Medical technology students conduct laboratory tests as they attend face-to-face (F2F) classes at the University of La Salette (ULS) in Santiago City. ULS is the first school in Isabela allowed by the Commission on Higher Education to hold in-school mentorship. (Photo by Villamor Visaya Jr.)

By Villamor Visaya Jr.,Philippine News Agency stringer

CITY OF SANTIAGO, Isabela – The University of La Salette (ULS), the first higher education institution in this province allowed to hold limited face-to-face classes in its medical degree programs, on Tuesday started the in-person mentorship.

Dr. Madeilyn Estacio, ULS vice president for academic affairs, told the Philippine News Agency they are implementing a 30-percent capacity policy as allowed by the Commission on Higher Education, Department of Health (DOH), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Inter-Agency Task Force officials (IATF).

The university has retrofitted its facilities “to be protective from Covid-19, and to comply with minimum public health standards as ordered by the authorities,” she added.

Movable glass panels and separators were put up aside from the basic facilities for sanitizing, hand-washing, and other safety measures, Estacio said.

The students are staying in a “bubble dormitory” where no guests and visitors are allowed entry, she noted.

Even though Isabela province is under Alert Level 2 which would have allowed a 50-percent indoor capacity, the university has implemented a 30-percent indoor capacity and 50-percent outdoor capacity for “easy monitoring and evaluation”.

“It is a very challenging one because we are the first with face-to-face classes in Isabela. Being the first to be granted, we strictly monitor to ensure the implementation and how we can further improve,” Estacio said.

Students in the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Medical Technology and Physical Therapy courses started their laboratory and classroom classes November 16.

Seat plans and regular sanitation before and after classes are being done to ensure their protection, Estacio noted.

Dean Marissa Tan of the ULS College of Medicine and Allied Medical Programs said they only allowed six students in each laboratory room for Medical Technology students. A total of four rooms are being used by 24 students.

For BS Physical Therapy students, nine were allowed and nine others will be attending classes in the next batch.

“We are really very, very excited. We just ensured that the guidelines are followed as mandated by the DOH, DILG and IATF,” Tan said. (PNA)