The City Schools Division of the Department of Education disclosed that more than ninety-seven percent of the agency’s non-teaching and teaching personnel are already fully vaccinated to ensure their readiness for the implementation of the limited face-to-face classes in the city.
Dr. Mary Libeney Sito, medical officer of the City Schools Division, stated that the remaining 3 percent of the 2,449 teaching and non-teaching personnel of the education department in the city are unvaccinated because of their religious belief and other valid reasons.
She pointed out there is no discrimination among non-vaccinated personnel in the agency because they respect the disposition of those teaching and no-teaching employees who do not want to be vaccinated but they have to comply with the prescribed guidelines for them to show their negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or antigen test every 14 days.
Sito added that the vaccination of non-teaching and teaching personnel is one of the major requirements for schools to be allowed to resume limited face-to-face classes, aside from the ongoing advocacy of the agency for children aged 5 to 11 to be vaccinated for them to get added protection against severe infection from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
On the other hand, the medical officer explained that for teaching and non-teaching personnel who have valid medical reasons not to be vaccinated, they must present their medical certificates subject to validation for them to be excused from being vaccinated.
According to her, the vaccines that are available are safe that is why there is no reason for the parents of qualified pediatric population not to allow their children to be vaccinated as this would mean added protection on the part of the students to prevent them from easily contracting the virus or from the severe infection that may compromise their health.
Sito stipulated that students and education personnel who will be participating in the limited face-to-face classes are required to adhere to the minimum public health standards, such as the mandatory wearing of face masks at all times, observance of physical distancing and the practice of personal hygiene, particularly regular hand washing and disinfection.
She revealed that the schools allowed to implement these limited face-to-face classes will be required to establish a triage right at the entrance of the school compound provided with supply of alcohol and face masks for the use of students, teachers and non-teaching personnel who will be entering the school.
Sito asserted that appropriate directional signs had already been put in place by the concerned school authorities in these selected schools to avoid confusion once students will be entering the school compound for them to be guided in going to their new classrooms.