A party-list legislator who represents the education sector in the House of Representatives on Saturday assailed the Commission on Higher Education for limiting face-to-face classes to only those who are vaccinated.
Assistant Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro said imposing this policy is a violation of the Constitution that ensures free quality education to every person.
"The Commission on Higher Education should not be limiting face-to-face classes to only vaccinated students and teachers. It is discriminatory to only allow those fully vaccinated join face-to-face classes when there is also limited access to vaccines," Castro said.
"According to the Department of Health Vaccine tracker, there are only 38.8 million fully vaccinated individuals in the country as of December 1, 2021. By imposing this policy, the CHED is limiting thousands, if not millions of students' access to quality education."
"Instead, they should ensure that the schools have adequate facilities, proper ventilation and that they will be able to follow minimum health standards,” she said.
She said CHED should also ensure an adequate and proper information drive on vaccines to curb vaccine hesitancy and help the unvaccinated students and teachers to have access to vaccines rather than simply not allowing them to join face-to-face classes."
"Face-to-face classes are still the ideal to ensure that the students are really learning what the teachers are teaching them. In the two years of blended distance learning, we do not need more policies that limit our youth from accessing quality education," Castro said.