MANILA, Philippines — The Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations of the Philippines (Cocopea) repeated on Tuesday its call for the government to prioritize the vaccination of students and teachers against COVID-19, particularly since President Rodrigo Duterte had approved the conduct of limited in-person classes for two months in areas considered low risk for infection of the coronavirus.
“We would like to point out that we can expect success of this exercise when all the teaching and non-teaching staff are vaccinated, and those students who are willing to go back to school are vaccinated, too. We renew our call to prioritize the vaccination of teachers and students,” the Cocopea chairman, Anthony Tamayo, said in a statement.
Under the pilot tests, the Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Education (DepEd) allowed the inclusion of 20 private schools in the list of those that would be allowed to conduct limited in-person classes.
However, Tamayo said his group was still waiting for the list of these schools and the copy of the approved guidelines.
“We hope these guidelines will hopefully address concerns of some of our members which include: the parents’ concerns on the safety of their children, operational concerns of schools in terms of retrofitting facilities and physical requirements, government support in ensuring the safety of students and their parents going to and from schools, and the support of local governments,” Tamayo said.
“We are willing and ready to dialogue with the government on the concerns,” he added.
Earlier, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that it would be the DOH that would determine the risk for COVID-19 in several areas and the DepEd that will conduct the safety assesment of classes.
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