Photo from Michael Cuevas
The University of Santo Tomas welcomed back the clinical clerks of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery last June 9, 2021. They were allowed by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) to have limited face-to-face classes.
Dr. Ma. Lourdes Maglinao, Dean of Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, in an interview, believes that there is an essential need to open the skills laboratory to expose the graduating class on the actual hospital setting and hone their practical skills as future doctors and frontliners.
Last February 3,2021 Manila city Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso also approved UST’s proposal to resume limited face- to- face classes after visiting the campus and discussed the protocols on how the classes would be conducted. The discussion was also joined by Vice Mayor Honey Lacuña, an alumna of UST in her premed course, representatives from the Commission of Higher Education (CHEd), the Department of Health (DOH), and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases.
The face- to- face classes were supposed to start last March, however, due to the surge of new cases of Covid-19, it was rescheduled.
Strict health protocols are being implemented in this limited face- to- face classes. All clerks are required to be fully vaccinated and are grouped into small classes, students who are not scheduled for their shift are not permitted to come in the buildings to discourage loitering and ensure social distancing among the students. The University also requires the students and staff to update their health status using the StaySafe.ph application.
Students were also required to have their parents’ consent and vulnerable students can opt not to attend their onsite classes.
The five graduating students of the Regent’s Scholarship Program are part of the limited face- to- face classes.
Charles Latorre, one of the Regent’s scholars, said that it was very difficult to adjust at first, but they understand and appreciate the protocols set by the University. They are also very excited for their hands- on classes.
The limited face- to- face classes will end on July 10, 2021.