Gatchalian: DepEd should proactively participate in pediatric vaccination to expand face-to-face classes

Gatchalian: DepEd should proactively participate in pediatric vaccination to expand face-to-face classes

To help accelerate the expansion of in-person classes nationwide, Senator Win Gatchalian is urging the Department of Education (DepEd) to proactively participate in pediatric vaccination against COVID-19.

In Executive Order No. 166 s. 2022, which adopts the Ten-Point Policy Agenda on Economic Recovery, the acceleration and expansion of the vaccination program and the resumption of in-person learning were identified as priorities. Gatchalian has been calling for the opening of all schools for limited face-to-face classes, citing both economic benefits and the urgency of addressing the impact of school closures.

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture expressed concern that only 736,143 children aged five to 11 are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of March 25 as reported by the Department of Health (DOH) while it aims to inoculate 15.56 million children in this age group. Only around 1.8 million from the same age group have received their first dose. For the adolescent population or those in the 12-17 age group, 8.9 million are already fully vaccinated.

Gatchalian has been seeking the involvement of schools in the COVID-19 vaccination of the pediatric population. According to the lawmaker, this would lead to easier identification, organization, and monitoring of learners who are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines.

“Kung mababakunahan natin ang ating mga kabataan laban sa COVID-19, hindi lamang natin matitiyak ang ligtas nilang pagbabalik sa face-to-face classes. Makatutulong din ito sa muling pagbangon ng sektor ng edukasyon at ng buong ekonomiya ng ating bansa,” said Gatchalian.

As of March 22, there are 14,396 public and private schools that are nominated for the progressive expansion of limited face-to-face classes. There are 10,196 schools, including 212 private schools, participating in limited in-person learning.

Some of the nominated schools that have not started face-to-face classes are yet to receive concurrence from their respective local government units (LGUs), which is one of the requirements for conducting limited face-to-face classes. Gatchalian earlier called on LGUs to give schools the green light to participate in face-to-face classes, a move that he says would accelerate the opening of more schools for in-person learning.

The DepEd and the DOH will soon be releasing the new guidelines that ease requirements on the opening of limited face-to-face classes.

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Maigting na pakikilahok ng DepEd sa pediatric vaccination isinusulong ni Gatchalian

Upang lalo pang mapalawig ang face-to-face classes sa buong bansa, hinimok ni Senador Win Gatchalian ang Department of Education (DepEd) na magkaroon ng maigting na pakikilahok sa pediatric vaccination laban sa COVID-19.

Sa Executive Order No. 166 s. 2022, kung saan nakasaad ang Ten-Point Policy Agenda on Economic Recovery, binibigyang prayoridad ang pagpapalawig ng vaccination program at ang pagbabalik ng face-to-face classes. Ipinapanawagan ni Gatchalian ang pagbubukas ng lahat ng mga paaralan para sa limited face-to-face classes, bagay na aniya’y makatutulong sa pagbangon ng ekononomiya at ng sektor ng edukasyon mula sa pinsalang dulot ng COVID-19.

Nababahala ang chairman ng Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture na iilan pa lang o 736,143 pa lamang ang kabataang may edad na lima hanggang labing-isa ang fully vaccinated laban sa COVID-19. Ito ay batay sa datos ng Department of Health (DOH) buhat nitong Marso 25.

Balak ng DOH na bakunahan ang 15.56 milyong kabataan sa naturang age group. Wala pang dalawang (1.8) milyon sa naturang age group ang nakatanggap ng unang dose ng bakuna. Para naman sa mga mag-aaral na 12 hanggang 17 taong gulang, umabot na sa 8.9 milyon ang fully vaccinated.

Isinusulong ni Gatchalian ang pakikilahok ng mga paaralan sa programang pagbabakuna ng pamahalaan laban sa COVID-19. Ayon sa mambabatas, mas mapapadali ang pagtukoy, pag-organisa, at pagmonitor ng mga mag-aaral na maaari nang makatanggap ng COVID-19 vaccine.

“Kung mababakunahan natin ang ating mga kabataan laban sa COVID-19, hindi lamang natin matitiyak ang ligtas nilang pagbabalik sa face-to-face classes. Makatutulong din ito sa muling pagbangon ng sektor ng edukasyon at ng buong ekonomiya ng ating bansa,” ani Gatchalian.

Buhat nitong March 22, may 14,396 na pampubliko at pribadong mga paaralan ang nominado na para sa progressive expansion ng limited face-to-face classes. May 10,196 paaralan, kabilang ang 212 na pribadong paaralan, ang kasalukuyang nakikilahok sa limited face-to-face classes.

Ilan sa mga nominadong paaralan ang hindi pa nakakapagsimula dahil hinihintay pa nila ang pahintulot mula sa kanilang mga lokal na pamahalaan na isa sa mga requirements sa pagsasagawa ng limited face-to-face classes. Kamakailan lang ay hinimok ni Gatchalian ang local government units (LGUs) na pahintulutan na ang mga paaralang magsagawa ng face-to-face classes upang mapabilis ang pagbubukas ng mas marami pang mga paaralan.

Inaasahan namang maglalabas ang DepEd at DOH ng mas maluwag na guidelines at requirements para sa pagkakaroon ng limited face-to-face classes.

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