The Department of Education (DepEd) announces the Operational Guidelines on the Implementation of Limited Face-to-Face Learning Modality for School Year 2021-2022. The full DepEd-DOH Joint Memorandum can be read here.
Attached herewith is Section 6.2.1 on the DepEd-DOH Joint Memorandum Circular No. 3, s. 2021 that COVID-19 vaccinations are not a requirement for teachers and employees joining the conduct of the face-to-face classes for School Year 2021-2022.
Table of Contents
Teachers and Employees
All teachers and employees who are 65 years old and below and with no diagnosed co-morbidities shall be eligible to provide service during the conduct of the face-to-face classes. Likewise, teachers and employees who are considered PWDs, are pregnant and lactating, whose services are indispensable under the present circumstance may be considered eligible, (as provided for in CSC Memorandum Circular No. 18, s. 2020). Regardless of the vaccination status, teachers and other employees are eligible to participate, while those with stable comorbidities may join voluntarily. School administrators may decide on teachers and other employees then schedule based on careful analysis of risks and benefits.
COVID-19 vaccination shall remain an essential strategy to complement the existing implementation of the Prevention, Detection, Isolation, Treatment, and Reintegration (PDITR) strategies, which is the cornerstone of the country’s response to prevent further transmission. DepEd shall encourage teachers and personnel, regardless of employment status, to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Vaccination shall follow the country’s allocation framework for priority eligible populations.
Selection of learners who will participate in the pilot implementation shall be guided by the following criteria:
- Participation is voluntary with signed written consent from parent/guardian (see Annex C for sample written consent form)
- Only learners from within the city/municipality where the school/learning center is located shall be considered
- Can walk going to school, or, with regulated public transportation, or with available private transport
- Without existing comorbidities
Participating schools may further do prioritization of learners according but not limited to the following conditions:
- Children who require childcare, such as those whose parents must work outside the home, or who have no directly available and immediately responsible adults/ guardians at home;
- Learners heavily dependent on face-to-face learning interventions, such as Key Stage 1 learners (Kindergarten to Grade 3);
- Learners who struggle to meet the required learning competencies;
- Senior high school learners enrolled in Technical-Vocational-Livelihood (TVL) track requiring workshop equipment in school; and
- Learners that are documented to be affected by mental health concerns that may be eased by face-to-face interactions. The school shall provide a referral process to address mental health concerns.
To ensure protection across all diseases and implement healthy habits, parents/guardians shall be encouraged to be up-to-date with the routine immunizations of their young children, especially for non-COVID19 diseases that are vaccine-preventable such as, but not limited to, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus. Relative to this, schools shall facilitate the completion of routine immunizations through regular immunization mechanisms available through the National Immunization Program (NIP).
For private schools that signify to participate in the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes, the following requirements shall be complied prior to the authorization from the Regional Director:
Submission of a formal letter addressed to the Regional Director expressing the following:
- interest to implement limited face-to-face classes;
- willingness to submit a report on lessons and recommendations on a monthly basis during the pilot implementation and quarterly for the expanded implementation of face-to-face classes
The following attachments shall be submitted along with the formal letter:
- implementation plan for the face-to-face classes including class program, class schedule, and health and safety protocols (including testing capacity and arrangements for all students and personnel attending schools).
- clear protocols for medical isolation, school re-closures and reopening in the event of detected cases among students or school personnel.
UPDATE (October 6, 2021):
The Department of Education (DepEd) assured at the Senate Hearing that it prioritizes the safety of the participants in the pilot implementation of the limited face-to-face classes.
Specifically specified teaching and non-teaching personnel who are vaccinated will be allowed to participate in face-to-face classes.
“Only those that have been fully vaccinated will be allowed to participate in the face-to-face proper both teaching and non-teaching personnel.”— Atty. Nepomuceno A. Malaluan, Undersecretary, Department of Education