By RICHA NORIEGA, GMA News
Senator Nancy Binay on Thursday reiterated her appeal to the Department of Education (DepEd) to speed up COVID-19 vaccinations for teachers as the agency gears up for the pilot implementation of limited in-person classes next month.
“I would like to reiterate my appeal kung puwede sana bilisan natin ang pagbabakuna sa ating mga teachers (to speed up vaccinations for teachers) as we move towards the opening of the more face-to-face classes,” Binay said during the Senate hearing on the DepEd’s proposed budget for 2022.
The senator said that they are willing to ask vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. to make the vaccines available for the teachers.
DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said that they have continuously reminded the teachers to go to their respective local government units to receive their COVID-19 jabs.
“We have continuously reminded our teachers not even to wait several months ago for the turn but to go to the respective local governments since they are highly qualified,” Briones told the Senate panel.
“We have status of teachers upgraded and now approve na yung pilot face-to-face lalong minamadali na yun (we are speeding up the vaccinations) so we take the [Senate’s] advice rigorously,” she added.
Based on DepEd’s timeline, the initial run of the pilot study will be from November 15 to December 22, after which an assessment of the conduct of the in-person classes will be made.
Only fully vaccinated teachers and non-teaching personnel will be allowed to participate in pilot face-to-face classes in areas deemed low-risk for COVID-19, according to the guidelines approved by the DepEd and Department of Health last week.
The limited face-to-face classes will initially cover 100 public schools and 20 private schools, and will involve Kindergarten to Grade 3 students.
The pilot study will end on January 31, 2022. — VBL, GMA News