CHED allows medical schools to admit students who have not taken NMAT

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has authorized medical schools to admit students who have not taken the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT) for school year 2020-2021, subject to regular admission requirements.

The commission said on Wednesday, July 1, that this is in view of the NMAT's postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Center for Educational Measurement (CEM) was supposed to administer the NMAT on March 1. 

“The Commission, in its en banc meeting on June 30, responded to the call of many students who want to pursue their medical education but were not able to take the NMAT which is required for admission to medical school,” CHED Chairman Prospero de Vera III said in a press statement.

The policy will only be for school year 2020-2021. Citing data from the CEM, CHED said there were about 9,000 registered NMAT applicants. The NMAT will proceed online from August 10 to 20.

The NMAT is a standardized test for medical school admission. There are currently 56 higher education institutions in the country authorized to offer the doctor of medicine program.

De Vera earlier announced that CHED is formulating guidelines for "possible limited face-to-face classes" in July in low-risk modified general community quarantine areas. 

On May 14, the government's coronavirus task force approved the CHED resolution to open classes in colleges and universities based on mode of teaching. Educational institutions that use "flexible" learning may be allowed to open any time in August.

"Flexible learning" involves a combination of digital and non-digital technology, which CHED says doesn't necessarily require an internet connection. (READ: During pandemic, student climbs a mountain to send class requirement)

Experts at the University of the Philippines earlier warned the transmission of COVID-19 might increase should face-to-face classes open in Metro Manila schools in August and September.

As of July 1, the Philippines has confirmed 38,511 cases of COVID-19. The death toll reached 1,270, while 10,438 have recovered. –

Michelle Abad

Michelle Abad is a researcher-writer at Rappler. Possessing the heart and soul of a feminist, she is working on specializing in women's issues in Newsbreak, Rappler's investigative arm.