June 21, 2024

The Department of Health said it “fully supports” the resumption of face-to-face (F2F) classes in November.

As of mid-June, about 38,000 schools nationwide have been nominated to conduct in-person classes.

“We fully support that and even our experts have given their recommendations na kailangan na talagang buksan ang ating mga paaralan sa mga kabataan,” Health Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a televised public briefing.

Earlier, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said Vice President and Education Sec. Sara Duterte plans to start the phased implementation of in-person classes by September.

However, the DOH emphasized the importance of ensuring a safe learning environment for the children.

Vergeire noted the DOH does not mandate that children must be vaccinated against the Covid-19 “but it strongly encourages” parents to consider inoculation to provide better protection for them when in-person classes start.

“Maglalagay tayo ng bakunahan sa mga eskwelahan para mas ma-encourage ang ating mga magulang para pabakunahan ang kanilang mga anak,” she said.

On the other hand, schools must ensure teachers and non-teaching personnel who will interact with the children should be vaccinated.

“I think, marami sa ating mga eskwelahan hindi po talaga kaya ang physical distancing, so the most po na ating ire-require would really be that children will wear a mask, especially during those times na magkakasama sa classroom,” Vergeire said.

Learners would be exempted from wearing face masks when engaging in high-impact or strenuous activities, she added.– PNA