144 public school teachers in Lapu remain unvaxxed against Covid-19

·3 min read

AT LEAST 144 public school teachers in Lapu-Lapu City may not be allowed to teach during the in-person classes starting in August should the Department of Education continue the vaccination requirement for the face-to-face classes.

Dr. Wilfreda Bongalos, DepEd Lapu-Lapu City Division Superintendent, told SunStar Cebu that about four percent of the 3,672 teachers in the city’s 81 public schools have remained unvaccinated against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Bongalos said 96 percent or 3,528 public school teachers had been vaccinated against Covid-19 as of Thursday, July 14, 2022.

The DepEd said last July 12 that elementary and secondary education in both public and private schools will have to resume the conduct of five-day in-person classes by Nov. 2 this year regardless of the alert status of the areas where the schools are located.

Bongalos said the unvaccinated teachers could be allowed to teach during full implementation of in-person classes in November as they need more teachers to deliver lessons to their students.

No order yet

The DepEd central office has not released an order lifting its rule not to allow unvaccinated teachers to teach in front of their students, particularly during the full implementation of the face-to-face classes in November.

Bongalos hoped that the unvaccinated teachers would change their minds and get their jabs.

She said some of the teachers refused to get vaccinated due to their illnesses or as advised by their doctors.

About 110,000 students are expected to enroll for public schools in School Year (SY) 2022-2023. There were around 107,000 enrolled students in SY 2021-2022.

In private schools, Bongalos said they are expecting about 19,000 enrollees for SY 2022-2023, higher than the 18,000 enrolled students last school year.

Unvaxxed teachers’ duties

Bongalos said that at the start of the limited face-to-face classes in March last SY 2021-2022, unvaccinated teachers could still report to work provided they could submit either a negative rapid antigen or negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test result every two weeks.

She said they were given tasks outside teaching, like preparing the materials for the blended learning or performing other tasks as long as they have work to do.

Meanwhile, Bongalos said she has no data yet as to how many teachers in the city’s 70 private schools remain unvaccinated. Of the private schools, only 14 have joined the implementation of limited face-to-face classes last school year.

Bongalos said not a single unvaccinated teacher in the division decided to resign due to the vaccination requirement.

DepEd’s guidelines

During the full implementation of the in-person classes in November, the DepEd has ruled that no school is allowed to implement purely distance or blended learning except for those that are implementing alternative delivery modes, including homeschooling, modified in-school off-school approach, and night and open high schools that do not strictly follow the regular set-up for regular classroom instruction.

Schools are also ordered to ensure the maintenance of minimum health protocols, such as the wearing of face masks and the observance of physical distancing to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Vice President Sara Duterte, who is also the secretary of DepEd, earlier said students do not need to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Duterte also said there will be no class size set for each classroom, adding that physical distancing will be implemented “whenever possible.”

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