DepEd: Vax policy for in-person classes not discriminatory | Inquirer News
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DepEd: Vax policy for in-person classes not discriminatory

/ 05:48 AM January 21, 2022

PHOTO BY JOANNA ROSE AGLIBOT/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The Department of Education (DepEd) said its policy of requiring vaccination for teachers and school personnel who were part of the implementation of in-person classes was “not intended to unjustly discriminate” but to help in curbing the spread of COVID-19.

“This policy, particularly the requirement for teachers, with nonteaching personnel, handling face-to-face classes and performing in-school functions/tasks to be vaccinated, has been approved by the Office of the President,” the agency said in a statement on Thursday.

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The immunization policy also follows the resolution of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases that requires vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result for employees who physically report to work.

Pilot implementation

“A DepEd employee who is not vaccinated is treated fairly as he/she remains obliged to render work and receive compensation based on applicable alternative work arrangements,” the DepEd said.

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Before the pilot implementation of in-person classes in November last year, the education department reported that about 93.2 percent of the teachers and school staff who participated were already inoculated.

The DepEd earlier said that teachers and school personnel below 65 years old could take part in the pilot study of in-person classes, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status.

The agency later on retracted the statement and said vaccination was mandatory, following the advice of health experts.

“This was agreed upon by the DOH (Department of Health) and DepEd that indeed vaccination is there to ensure the safety of our children,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

As the DepEd eyes to broaden the program by the first week of February, Education Secretary Leonor Briones recommended to President Duterte a “progressive expansion” of the limited in-person classes.

Under this suggestion, the expansion would allow only vaccinated teachers and nonteaching personnel to participate in the implementation.

“Our recommendation is a progressive expansion and [this would mean that] not all schools will participate in face-to-face classes,” the education chief said in a televised meeting with Cabinet officials on Monday night.

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TAGS: DepEd, Education, School, teacher
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