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  • Is Vaccination Required Before Kids Can Attend Face To Face Classes? Here's What DepEd Says

    4,200 public and private schools back to face-to-face classes as of March 1, 2022, says DepEd
    by Angela Baylon .
Is Vaccination Required Before Kids Can Attend Face To Face Classes? Here's What DepEd Says
PHOTO BY jerome ascano
  • Beginning this March 2022, more areas are placed under looser COVID-19 alert levels 1 and 2. (See list of areas here). Subsequently, more schools can reopen for the conduct of face-to-face classes after almost two years of online learning.

    One of the concerns many parents have been airing online is if COVID-19 vaccination will be required before their kids can attend in-person classes. This is after the Philippine government expanded its pediatric vaccination program to include children ages 5 to 11 last February 7, 2022. (Read FAQs on pediatric vaccination here)

    DepEd on pediatric vaccination and resumption of face-to-face classes

    The Philippine Department of Education (DepEd) made a clarification on the issue during March 2, 2022's Laging Handa press briefing. Education Sec. Leonor Briones notes the department will not include COVID-19 vaccination as part of the requirement in the learning set-up under the "new normal."

    "Are we requiring our children to have vaccinations bago sila makapag-participate? Not necessarily, hindi required. It is voluntary kasi ang parents ang magdi-decide diyan." Briones also adds, "[B]ut of course we will encourage them."

    If COVID-19 jab is not required for students, teachers, and school staff, however, must be fully vaccinated before holding face-to-face classes.

    Briones notes, "Para sa amin, mandatory para sa Department of Education na 'yung mga teachers kailangan na vaccinated sila."

    In the same press briefing, Briones updated the number of schools that are already welcoming students for in-person classes.

    The education chief says 6,213 offering primary education are deemed ready for face-to-face classes. But, as of March 1, 2022, 4,295 schools are conducting in-person classes. Of this number, 66 are private schools.

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    "We are antcipating na lalong dadami ang mga schools na sasali [sa in-person classes] dahil pagpasok ng NCR, malaking bulto ng eskuwelahan 'yan and other places na nasa level 1 and 2 na," Briones said.

    Briones emphasized the following requirements before a school can reopen for face-to-face classes:

    1. Local government's approval
    2. Parents' written consent
    3. Must comply with Department of Health (DOH) guidelines
    4. Facilities and equipment support basic health and safety protocols against COVID-19

    Blended learning remains

    With more schools conducting physical classes, Briones says there will be no such thing as "full in-person classes," and online learning modes are here to stay.

    She emphasized, "Hindi ibigsabihin na ngayon magpo-progressive face-to-face [classes] tayo iiwanan na natin 'yung konsepto ng blended learning. Kailangan pa rin ang online.

    "Hindi yung dati nating nakasanayan na the whole day 'yung teacher nakaharap sa mga bata. Mayroon pa ring blended component." She adds, "Wala na 'yung notion na full face to face."

    Briones cites the need for students to be at par when it comes to technological literacy now that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift to digital.

    Watch Deped giving updates on Laging Handa press briefing here (skip to 35:40-minute mark)

    Several celebrity parents are getting their children vaccinated against COVID-19. Read more here.

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