CHED-7 to HEIs: Get your students vaccinated

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | October 22,2021 - 09:27 PM
CHED-7 to HEIs: Get your students vaccinated. In photo is one of the college students of higher education instiutions in Cebu City gets vaccinated in one of the city's vaccination sites. | Dyrecka Letigio

One of the college students of higher education instiutions in Cebu City gets vaccinated in one of the city’s vaccination sites. | Dyrecka Letigio

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Commission on Higher Education in Central Visayas (CHED-7) is urging all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to facilitate the vaccination of their students.

This is in preparation for the probability of having face-to-face classes to return soon especially for college programs that need more physical interactions.

CHED-7 Director Maximo Aljibe said that they were now talking with presidents of universities and colleges all over the region discussing about the vaccination of all 300,000 college students in Central Visayas.

The Visayas Vaccination Operations Center (VVOC) has revealed that only 61,000 of these college students have been vaccinated, which means there is a huge gap still between the target population and the actual vaccination progress.

“We are now working closely with presidents na makipag arrange na sa mga LGUs (local government units) para sa ganun yung mga estudyante ay mavaccinated na po,” said Aljibe.

(We are now working closely with presidents to let them arrange with the LGUs (local government units) so that the students can be vaccinated.)

In a speech during the launch of Cebu City’s vaccination program for college students on October 21, 2021, Aljibe said that HEIs might one day have to require students to be vaccinated as the country would move forward with the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said later in an interview that HEIs could not be faulted if they wished to require students to be vaccinated because retrofitting their facilities for a more pandemic-friendly design might cost so much money.

“So it (required vaccination) can be imposed sa mga eskwelahan lalo na kapag yung retrofitting natin hindi pa naiimplement, Kasi it will entail so much money nga iretrofit mo na two meters apart for social distancing,” said Aljibe.

(So it [required vaccination] can be imposed in the schools especially that our retrofitting [of our facilities] will not be implemented because it will entail so much money to retrofit two meters apart for social distancing.)

Currently, face-to-face classes have been allowed for certain programs such as allied medical courses, maritime courses, and tourism courses, but Aljibe said the direction was to really return the face-to-face classes for all college programs.

Still, he said that should HEIs could not remove or expel a student for lack of vaccination, just as much as employers could not fire workers for the lack of vaccination.

And if they should limit enrollment to only vaccinated students, individuals may and can complain about this because there is no law that requires vaccination for enrolling into an educational institution.

Instead, Aljibe urged the HEIs to facilitate the vaccination of the students as a proactive move to getting more individuals vaccinated and to help each locality to reach their target population for herd immunity.

CHED-7 hopes the HEIs would heed their advice as this would pave the way back for students to the scholastic facilities that they have not been in for over a year now.

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TAGS: Ched-7, Commission on Higher Education in Central Visayas, HEIs, higher education institutions, vaccination

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