Kids’ vax encouraged for F2F classes but not required

Kids’ vax encouraged for F2F classes but not required

NEW NORMAL. Students of Napo Elementary School (NES) in Barangay Napo, Linamon, Lanao del Norte are separated by makeshift cubicles as face-to-face classes start on Nov. 15, 2021. The NES is one of six schools allowed by the Department of Education to pilot in-person classes in the province. (PNA photo by Divina M. Suson)

Students and learners who want to participate in face-to-face classes are encouraged but not required to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones stressed this point in a recent televised public hearing on the issue. “We encourage them but is not a requirement,” she said, adding their parents “will be the ones to decide on that.”

Briones said the Department of Education has a similar policy with the Department of Health regarding the needed consent from parents on pediatric vaccination. Citing zero cases of Covid-19 among 15,000 learners involved in the pilot face-to-face classes implementation, she said young children have high level of immunity against diseases.

DepEd, however, said teaching and non-teaching personnel who will participate in the face-to-face classes are required to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Unvaccinated personnel who need to report to schools must also be tested for Covid-19 and be able to submit the result.

To date, a total of 4,295 schools have started their face-to-face classes while 6,213 schools are ready for implementation based on the criteria set by government authorities.