As the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination in the country accelerates, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) expressed optimism on the possible vaccination of students or those belonging to the younger age group.
“This will be discussed in the IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force] meeting this week,” CHE Chairperson J. Prospero De Vera III said during an online press conference during the celebration of the 1st National Higher Education Day on May 18.
This, De Vera said, is because “there are countries in other parts of the world that are changing their policy or reviewing their policy and thinking of prioritizing vaccinating students so that they can go back to some face-to-face classes.”
Citing observations in other countries, De Vera noted that mental health of students are getting “affected” over a year after the implementation of various alternative learning delivery modalities.
“Also, this is a recognition that especially for younger students, they are observing in other countries that the mental health of students are really getting affected and they would like the students to be going out of their homes more frequently,” De Vera said.
In other countries, De Vera noted that they are looking into vaccinating students to address issued related to students’ mental health.
“The answer in other countries is to vaccinate them so that will be discussed in the IATF where that is a policy that we could also have in the Philippines,” he said. “So hopefully that can be taken up in the IATF this week,” he added.
Schools in the Philippines – from basic education to higher education – remain closed over a year after the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.