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VAXXED TEACHERS FOR FACE-TO-FACE CLASSES URGED

With the government now pushing through with pilot face-to-face classes in 120 public and private schools, Deputy Speaker Benny Abante Jr. is urging the Department of Education (DepEd) to tap teachers that have already been fully vaccinated for the said program “to help ensure the safety of the students, the teaching personnel, and their respective families.”

“I understand the need for us to begin pilot-testing face-to-face classes as the education of our children has really been compromised because of the pandemic. Malinaw naman na mas maganda ang face-to-face classes kaysa sa distance learning,” said Abante.

The two-month pilot test for in-person classes will involve 100 public schools that have passed a “readiness assessment” and about 20 private schools that are still being validated by DepEd and the Department of Health.

“However, the health and safety of our children should remain our priority. Marami nang kaso ng batang nahahawa sa COVID, and we must take every precaution necessary to make their learning environments safe,” stressed the solon.

“Tapping fully-vaccinated teachers is one such measure. The science is clear about this, and the experience in countries that have resumed in-person classes show that unvaccinated teachers who are allowed to teach classes pose a greater risk to their students.”

The House leader pointed out that in the United States, an unvaccinated teacher in a California elementary school infected half of a class after the teacher contracted the Covid-19 Delta variant, according to researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones earlier announced that teachers 65 years old and below without comorbidities would be allowed to teach in the pilot programs even if they were unvaccinated.

Briones said “ang mga teachers natin, mga staff na 65 years old and below, kung walang comorbidities, pwede silang sumali sa programa. Puwede silang mag-serve regardless of their vaccination status.”

“Mobilizing vaccinated teachers for this program is one way to mitigate those risks.”

The two-month pilot test for in-person classes will involve 100 public schools that have passed a “readiness assessment” and about 20 private schools that are still being validated by DepEd and the Department of Health.

The Philippines is one of only two countries in the world that have yet to resume face-to-face classes.

“I am glad that the government is thinking ahead and already pilot-testing this program, but it must take measures to minimize the risks. Mobilizing vaccinated teachers for this program is one way to mitigate those risks.”

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