DepEd to allow unvaccinated teachers to hold in-person classes

Unvaccinated teachers will be allowed to hold face-to-face classes once the school year opens on 22 August, the Department of Education announced on Monday.

DepEd Undersecretary for Field Operations Revsee Escovedo said that unvaccinated teachers will be allowed to physically report to schools and hold in-person classes provided that they strictly follow minimum public health protocols like wearing masks, and if the schools have proper ventilation.

“So, all teachers will report to their classroom,” Escovedo told reporters in a press conference of this year’s reopening of the Oplan Balik Eskwela command center at the agency’s Bulwagan ng Karunungan in Pasig City.

So far, there are 37,000 teachers who are still not vaccinated against the dreaded respiratory disease. Of this number, 20,000 of them have already registered for the vaccination rollout, Escovedo said.

Escovedo, however, stressed that teachers and other school personnel who exhibit flu-like symptoms are encouraged to stay home and have themselves tested for Covid-19.

“If they [teachers] are at home, they are considered on leave or excused with pay,” the DepEd official explained.

For his part, DepEd Undersecretary and Chief of Staff Epimaco Densing III said the agency will conduct vaccination counseling to be able to encourage parents to vaccinate their children against the disease amid vaccine hesitancy.

“In fact, we have already coordinated with the Department of Health. We will have a joint memorandum circular in our schools that we will continue to have counseling with the parents so that we can convince them to have their children vaccinated against Covid-19, and they too as parents, if they have not been inoculated yet,” Densing said.

Densing said the agency is still in the process of gathering data on how many learners are still unvaccinated.

“We will set up vaccination sites if we already gotten a good number of students, parents or even teaching or non-teaching personnel who wanted to be vaccinated,” the DepEd official added.

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