Aiko Melendez questions DepEd plan allowing unvaccinated teachers in face-to-face classes
Aiko Melendez has opposed the Department of Education’s plan which allows teachers to participate in the pilot run of limited face-to-face classes regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status.
President Rodrigo Duterte recently approved the conduct of limited in-person classes in areas that are at low risk for COVID-19. Given this, DepEd announced that teachers below 65 years old who do not have comorbidities can join the pilot run for face-to-face classes whether they have been vaccinated or not.
Melendez appeared to be in disbelief over the DepEd’s plan. She described it as an “experiment” through her Facebook page yesterday, Sept. 20.
“Am I reading and understanding this right?” the actress asked. “Ano na namang experiment po ‘to DepEd?” (What kind of experiment is this again, DepEd?)
She also questioned why unvaccinated teachers are being considered for the pilot run of in-person classes, pointing out that they would be more exposed to the coronavirus once students move back to classrooms.
“Bakit ‘di po need ng teachers na ma-vaccine po? Eh sila ang mauuna na ma-expose sa face-to-face class sa mga bata,” she said. (Why do teachers need not to be vaccinated? They will be the first ones exposed to the children in face-to-face classes.)
According to Melendez, students should only have face-to-face classes if vaccines are already accessible to children. She also hoped schools would continue to hold online classes and wait for the number of COVID-19 cases in the country to go down.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones explained that vaccination is not yet “mandatory, but voluntary.” Still, she believes a significant number of teachers have already received their COVID-19 jabs.
DepEd has not yet given an exact date for the start of pilot classes but it will be implemented in 100 public schools. The department is also reviewing 20 private schools based on “preparedness.”
As per the approved guidelines for face-to-face classes, kindergarten classes will have 12 students while Grade 1 to 3 classes will have 16 students. JB
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