DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa. (PNA)
By Tracy Cip Cabrera
MANILA — Following an announcement by the Department of Education (DepEd) regarding the resumption of face-to-face (F2F) classes this school year, the Department of Health (DoH) assured the public that it will not stop or delay in-person learning sessions in public and private schools set to start this month despite the detection of a monkeypox case in the country
“There is no reason for us to delay or stop the opening of classes. We have safeguards that were put in place to ensure the safety of our children,” DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a media briefing.
“No one should be able to go to school with symptoms or if they already have lesions, we should be able to see them right away,” Vergeire added.
Prior to this, DepEd spokesperson Atty. Michael Poa announced that it’s “all systems go for the reopening of schools across the country on August 22 (and) “based on the current trends, learners are excited to return to in-person classes.”
To date, Poa disclosed that enrolment for the resumption of F2Fclasses has already reached some 13.152 million learners which, so far is ‘significantly’ higher than in previous years.
To allay health concerns, interim DepEd secretary and Vice President Inday’ Sara Duterte-Carpio had given explicit instructions to all DepEd regional offices to coordinate with regional offices of the health department “to roll out counseling for the unvaccinated and mobile vaccination.”
“The idea (here) is to have regular sessions to encourage and convince them to get vaccinated,” Poa pointed out as the DoH has promised to launch mobile vaccination clinics at schools nationwide.
Meanwhile, the DepEd will also continue to implement a non-discriminatory policy for learners as well as teaching and non-teaching personnel when it comes to vaccination.
“There will be no separate guidelines for those vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals; we still see vaccination as voluntary,” the agency explained. (ai/mtvn)