DepEd: Teachers can join pilot in-person classes regardless of vax status
MANILA, Philippines — Teachers aged below 65 years old and do not have comorbidities can participate in the pilot run of limited face-to-face classes regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status, the Department of Education (DepEd) said Monday.
President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the conduct of limited in-person classes, but only in areas that are low-risk for COVID-19. The DepEd has said some 100 public schools and 20 private schools will be included in the pilot run.
“Ang mga teachers natin, mga staff na 65 years old and below, kung walang comorbidities, pwede silang sumali sa programa, pwede silang mag-serve regardless of their vaccination status. This is because of the human rights declaration tungkol sa right of individuals concerning their health,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said in an online Palace briefing.
(Our teachers, staff who are below 65 years old, and do not have comorbidities can serve in the program regardless of their vaccination status. This is because of the human rights declaration about the rights of individuals concerning their health.)
Citing the Department of Justice and Department of Health, Briones said vaccination is not yet “mandatory, but voluntary.”
Still, Briones expressed confidence there are now a significant number of teachers who have already been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Sa tingin namin, napaka-significant na ng number ng teachers [na vaccinated], kasi we’re only talking of 100 schools, public schools and 20 private schools. Hindi siguro enormous ang challenge to have vaccinated teachers,” she said.
(We think that there’s already a significant number of teachers already vaccinated since we’re only talking about 100 public schools and 20 private schools. Perhaps it is not an enormous challenge to have vaccinated teachers.)
Briones said the DepEd is still gathering data on the number of teachers already vaccinated against COVID-19.
The pilot run of in-person classes will only be held on half-days and conducted every other week.
No exact date has been set on when the pilot run of limited in-person classes will begin.