Rama eyes special vax drive in Cebu City private schools

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MAYOR Michael Rama will issue a directive for a special vaccination drive inside private learning institutions in Cebu City as schools and universities plan to fully implement face-to-face classes in August 2022.

The top executives of 10 schools and universities in the city met with Rama on Monday, June 20, to ask the mayor to further ease the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic restrictions in conducting in-person learning.

Lawyer Joan Largo, assistant vice president for academic affairs of the University of San Carlos, told the mayor that the 50-50 learning capacity is not viable as they have noticed that most students struggle to keep up with their shifting schedules.

The heads of the University of Southern Philippines Foundation and Don Bosco Technical College–Cebu also shared the concern of Largo.

“Among na bantayan nga lisod man gud mag-shifting sa ilang schedule. That is why we are here to meet with you (Rama) to discuss this matter,” said Largo.

The other institutions planning to implement in-person classes are the University of San Jose-Recoletos, Cebu Institute of Technology-University, University of Cebu, Southwestern University, University of the Visayas, Cebu Institute of Medicine, and Velez College.

According to the group, the current guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases require institutions to implement health and safety protocols such as physical distancing and installation of face barriers.

Members of the academe requested that for as long as students, teachers and staff are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, they be allowed to conduct the full implementation of face-to-face classes.

“Our only request is to lessen (the restrictions) because when face-to-face classes start, we will also be requiring our students and our staff to be fully vaccinated,” Largo said.

The mayor said he’d still have to meet with City officials on this request. But he said he would issue a directive for special vaccination days inside the schools and universities to ramp up the vaccination of students.

“We’ll call this the ‘Balik Eskwela Extravaganza, Bakuna Para Ekonomiya Mosaka’ (Return to School Extravaganza, Vaccination for Economic Recovery) to campaign for vaccination and involves your schools. The venue will be yours, and you will also help to campaign for this,” said Rama.

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