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On Monday, about 400 C. Visayas schools will resume regular lessons.

CEBU CITY, Philippines – On February 21, the Department of Education-Central Visayas (DepEd-7) will begin extended face-to-face (F2F) lessons in 456 schools, according to an agency official.

Approximately 91 percent of teaching and non-teaching professionals are now fully vaccinated against coronavirus illness (Covid-19), and parents are generally supportive of their children’s vaccination.

In a phone interview, DepEd-7 Regional Director Salustiano Jimenez said the inspiring outcome of the “Resbakuna Kids” inoculation program for children aged 5 to 11 years old argues for a shift to a new normal in learning modalities.

441 public schools and 15 private learning institutions are participating in the simultaneous start of face-to-face classes, according to him. Pupils and students will be able to be physically present in the classrooms and engage with their teachers for at least two days each week under this new modality.

Schools that will take part in the expanded face-to-face sessions on Monday must get a DepEd-7 safety seal and coordinate with the agency and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) on the enforcement of minimum health measures on campus.

Because several of the schools were destroyed by Typhoon Odette last December, only 80 out of more than 140 institutions were able to participate in the initial deployment of in-person sessions past January, according to Jimenez.

“If we go by our polls and interviews, the vast majority of our parents are in favor of vaccination.” Only a few parents refuse to vaccinate their children. “Those parents who are unwilling to get vaccinated are also opposed to immunization for their children,” he explained.

Some parents who are against vaccination cite personal beliefs, religion, or a pre-existing medical condition as justifications, according to Jimenez.

“I am pleading with parents to assist our government in securing our children’s education.” DepEd is not in favor of anything that could endanger our children. Medical authorities have determined that vaccines are safe. “Let’s not believe the bogus news that the vaccine will turn us into zombies,” he urged.

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