THE Department of Education (DepEd) on Sunday said 92 percent of teaching and non-teaching are fully vaccinated with the primary doses against Covid-19.
Michael Poa, DepEd spokesperson, said in a radio interview that DepEd adheres to a “no discrimination” policy for both vaccinated and unvaccinated personnel and students as face-to-face classes resume on Monday.
Data also showed that only 19 percent of learners are fully vaccinated against the virus.
“Kahit bakunado o hindi ang teachers, learners, papapasukin po lahat. This is because ang national vaccination program natin ay hindi po mandatory (Whether teachers or learners are vaccinated or not, they will be allowed inside schools. This is because our vaccination program is not mandatory),” he said.
Last school year, only fully vaccinated teaching and non-teaching personnel were allowed to participate in the implementation of limited in-person classes.
Poa said the DepEd is in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH) to implement counseling and mobile vaccinations in schools.
“Ang gagawin po muna namin with DOH would be counseling kasi bago po natin ituloy ang mobile vaccination, kailangan mayroon tayong numero kung ilan ‘yung gusto na pong magpabakuna (What we will be doing with the DOH is counseling sessions before we push through with mobile vaccination. We have to have a number first before we roll out mobile vaccination),” Poa said.
Poa said those who refuse vaccination will be educated through counselling sessions.
“Once they agree, whether learner, parent, teaching or non-teaching staff, we will set up mobile vaccination sites,” he added in Filipino.
Poa reiterated his call for teaching, non-teaching personnel, and students to continue to adhere to minimum public health standards.
“Talagang naatasan po natin ang school officials na strict tayo sa observance ng minimum public health standards (We have directed school officials to be strict in the observance of minimum public health standards),” he said.
Among DepEd’s safety guidelines are a double shift policy to prevent classroom congestion and students not allowed to eat together during breaks.
If the space won’t allow students to eat separately, they should do so while facing one direction.
Blended learning will be implemented before full face-to-face classes start by November 2 in private and public schools.
A total of PHP3.7 billion funds for maintenance and other operating expenses were released to DepEd field offices to support in-person classes.
Poa said it will be up to regional directors to decide how they will utilize the budget, which may include purchase of face masks and other items to ensure a safe reopening of in-person classes. PNA