SOME private educational institutions in Davao City are allegedly separating vaccinated and unvaccinated students during face-to-face classes, according to Davao City Covid-19 Task Force spokesperson Dr. Michelle Schlosser.
During a radio interview on July 29, 2022, Schlosser said the policy of the schools does not violate any existing laws because private institutions are allowed to implement their own precautions against the spread of Covid-19 within their own premises.
“There are private schools actually doing that and it’s lawful because any establishment can implement their health protocols as deemed necessary,” she said during a program of the Davao City Disaster Radio.
The private institutions were not named but Schlosser admits that the policy can spark discrimination between groups of students.
Still, private schools can still opt to do so on their own discretion in line with the Davao City Executive Order No. 11 Series of 2022.
The Department of Education in Davao Region (DepEd-Davao), through their spokesperson Jenielito Atillo, told SunStar Davao that there is no such policy mandated by the agency for public schools.
Director of Davao Association of Catholic Schools (DACS) Jimmie-Loe Dela Vega also said they have no official statement regarding the matter but he said, “Each school implements its own policies.”
If there is a possibility for the policy to be implemented on a wide scale, Schlosser said the matter should be discussed by concerned parties.
“There should be no discrimination but if you are going to separate the students, it’s still a form of discrimination. The decision will be coming from the Department of Health (DOH), policy makers, and the Department of Education,” she said.
If ever implemented, the Davao City Task Force is only mandated to enforce the policy following guidelines from the city government, DepEd, and DOH.
In line with this, Dela Vega said DACS, along with the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines and the Coordinating Council for Private Educational Associations, proposed to the office of the vice president on July 27 to allow capable schools to continue with blended or flexible learning.
“The curriculum shall be flexible enough to enable and allow schools to localize, indigenize and enhance the same based on their respective educational and social contexts,” DACS said in their position paper.
Through this proposal, unvaccinated and immunocompromised students may opt for online learning to remain safe within their homes. ICM