Unvaxxed teachers can still teach face-to-face, says DepEd-7
CEBU CITY, Philippines – There will be no discrimination among vaccinated and unvaccinated teachers who want to teach in a face-to-face setup, the Department of Education in Central Visayas (DepEd-7) assures.
Dr. Salustiano Jimenez, director of DepEd-7, said teachers who have yet to receive the COVID-19 vaccines can still return to the traditional style of teaching this August 22, 2022.
The same goes for non-teaching personnel in schools such as the administrative staff, said Jimenez.
“We will not force them, (sic) this is not compulsory)… Even for non-teachers and staff, it’s not compulsory. We’re not demanding them,” said Jimenez.
According to the DepEd-7 director, Vice President and Education Sec. Sara Duterte-Carpio emphasized to them that teachers should only be encouraged, and not forced, to take the COVID-19 vaccination.
“According to VP-Secretary Sara nga we keep on having a counseling para for them to reconsider (in taking the vaccines),” Jimenez said.
“Og mahimo kada adlawon og counsel ang mga teacher who are unvaccinated… Kay we do not know, might be ang parents na maoy moreklamo ngano ni ang teacher patudloan nga unvaccinated,” he added.
As precautionary measures, unvaccinated teachers will have to undergo rapid antigen COVID-19 tests before they can start their classes.
In Cebu province, these test kits will be provided to the teachers for free.
Meanwhile, Jimenez said the COVID-19 vaccination coverage rate among teaching and non-teaching personnel in Cebu province has almost reached 100 percent. Out of the 22,000 registered teachers and school staff, only 511 remain unvaccinated, he added.
School year 2022 is expected to begin this August 22, with almost all schools nationwide returning to face-to-face two years since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the government to implement distant learning.
In Central Visayas, DepEd is aiming to reach 2 million enrollees before the first day of class.
Jimenez said as of August 1, they are more than halfway through their target.
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