CHED bans full distance learning starting 2nd semester of AY 2022-2023

Manila, Philippines — Colleges and Universities in the Philippines will no longer be allowed to implement full distance learning starting the second semester of Academic Year 2022-2023, according to a recent order from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

Based on CHED Memorandum Order No. 16 dated November 11, higher education institutions (HEIs) will only be allowed to deliver their degree programs through full in-person classes or hybrid learning.

“Unless there is an approval from the Commission on Higher Education, an HEI cannot offer its recognized degree programs in full distance learning delivery, including fully online modality,” the commission said in the order signed by Chairman Prospero de Vera.

Likewise, HEIs that will deliver degree programs through hybrid learning must allot at least 50 percent of the total contact time for onsite learning or in-person classes, according to the CHED.

“For example, for a three-unit course which requires at least 54 contact hours, 27 hours should be spent on a physical learning facility such as a classroom, laboratory and other related learning spaces,” CHED explained.

The remaining contact time can be delivered through distance learning modalities such as “self-paced printed or online learning modules, synchronous/ asynchronous learning sessions, and remote guided peer learning approaches.”

HEIs intending to operate graduate and undergraduate programs through distance learning are required first to secure the CHED’s approval as mandated under Republic Act No. 10650 or the Open Distance Learning Act and other related policies.

Institutions planning to operate through transnational education must also secure prior approval from the CHED, it added.

Laboratory or shop courses with on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs must also be conducted primarily through onsite learning experiences beginning the second semester.

In-person classes were banned in early 2020 due to COVID-19, coercing Philippine schools to shift to remote learning.

Since 2021, colleges and universities have gradually resumed the traditional classroom setup.