The decision to limit the participation of face-to-face learning in college only for fully-vaccinated instructors and students is not discriminatory, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson Prospero de Vera III has said.

In a press briefing here late Wednesday afternoon, de Vera said the move is not a violation of human rights since those unvaccinated can still participate through online classes.

“There’s no discrimination since all have the opportunity to participate in classes. Unvaccinated will not be allowed to attend face-to-face classes to protect the vaccinated faculty and students,” he told reporters.

The official said as of November 25, at least 82.45 percent of higher education institutions personnel in both public and private universities have been vaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

For students, the vaccination coverage is 45.91 percent, up from the 30 percent rate recorded in October.

De Vera was in the city to meet with university presidents and other academic officials in Eastern Visayas.

Limited face-to-face classes will be implemented for all courses in state universities and colleges and private higher education institutions.

The number of attendees on campuses will depend on how many students are vaccinated.

The number of students inside a classroom also depends on how it is retrofitted.

“Retrofitting doesn’t mean you need to construct new facilities. They will only need to improve the facilities for safety reasons and ensure that there is good ventilation,” de Vera added.

Students will have to observe physical distancing and wear face masks throughout the class. No dividers in between chairs of students will be installed.

To ensure the smooth return of face-to-face classes in college, de Vera asked school officials to coordinate with local governments on this effort.

“Coordination with the local government is very important because there are things that need to be considered like the availability of public transportation for students,” he added.

CHED allowed the holding of in-person learning starting in December, but some school officials decided to start classes in January 2022. (PNA)