Only fully vaccinated teachers and students would be allowed to join limited face-to-face classes, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said Wednesday, Dec. 1.
“Only the fully vaccinated teaching and non-teaching personnel should participate in the conduct of the limited face-to-face classes. As to students, only fully vaccinated tertiary students should participate in the conduct of the limited face-to-face classes,” CHED Executive Director Cinderella Benitez-Jaro said in a virtual forum.
Benitez-Jaro stressed that fully vaccinated individuals are those who are at least two weeks past having received the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or the first dose of a single-dose vaccine.
Unvaccinated students, meanwhile, can continue remote learning.
“There is continuity of education. The education has not stopped because the Commission has issued the guidelines on flexible learning allowing online [and] offline modality of learning,” Benitez-Jaro noted.
“So for those unvaccinated, for those students who could not participate in the limited face-to-face classes, they shall continue to be governed by our guidelines on flexible learning. This entails additional modalities such as online or offline mode,” she added.
CHED Chairman Prospero “Popoy” de Vera bared that as of Nov. 25, at least 82.45 percent of higher education institutions (HEI) personnel in both public and private universities have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Nationwide, we have reached the necessary level for vaccination, but this high vaccination level if you notice is different across different regions,” De Vera said.
“Some regions have very high vaccination rate but some regions have relatively lower vaccination rate so they have not reached the threshold for immunity,” he added, noting that among regions with high vaccination rates are Eastern Visayas, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Davao Region.
However, he noted that all regions in the country have vaccinated at least 70 percent of HEI personnel.
Meanwhile, at least 45.91 percent of college students have been inoculated against the virus.
“That is a significant increase because after the first two weeks of vaccination in October, our vaccination rate was less than 30 percent,” De Vera said.
The CHED honcho also pointed out “problematic areas” where the vaccination rate is relatively low compared to other regions, namely: Bicol and Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan (Mimaropa).
“We are pushing for school-based vaccination because schools have a masterlist of students and therefore they can track who are vaccinated and who are not [and] the schools have facilities for vaccination,” De Vera said, noting that there are currently 166 HEIs offering their facilities as vaccination centers.