DepEd eyeing to construct 2,000 school clinics nationwide

Published August 3, 2019, 1:14 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Merlina Hernando-Malipot 

The Department of Education (DepEd) is eyeing the construction of about 2,000 school clinics in nationwide starting this year which will be manned by Senior High School (SHS) students enrolled in health-related tracks serving as clinical aides.

(MANILA BULLETIN)
(MANILA BULLETIN)

This was disclosed by Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua during the national kickoff of the “Oplan Kalusugan (OK) sa DepEd” in Banisil Central Elementary School, General Santos City. He bared the Department’s plans to improve the delivery of health and nutrition programs for learners and personnel.

Among the plans include the construction of about 2,000 school clinics in all towns nationwide starting this year “possibly in central elementary schools, in towns without municipal clinics, or in areas far from existing clinics.”

As part of their immersion program, Pascua noted that he will request the DepEd’s Curriculum and Instruction strand to “deploy” SHS students enrolled in health-related tracks to serve as clinic aides. The manpower from the pool of SHS students will help “support the operation of the said clinics.”

He noted that another immersion program for SHS students – specifically those under tracks related to food and beverages – will be preparing nutritious food to be distributed to schools for the School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP).

To be able to reach more schools and serve more learners, Pascua said that DepEd likewise “propose the provision of mobile clinics.” He added that the Department is also looking into “requesting for doctors, nurses, and dentists in schools and augmenting the delivery of potable water in every school.”

Collaboration is needed

Meanwhile, Education Secretary Leonor Briones underscored the important role of various stakeholders as partners in “OK sa DepEd” to help “promote and provide Filipino learners with sustainable holistic school health and nutrition programs toward healthier behavior and better learning outcomes.”

In a message read by Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio, during the national kickoff, Briones expressed her gratitude to the local government, and partners and stakeholders from the non-government, business, and civil society organizations for their unwavering support to DepEd’s various programs and reforms.

“With 27 million learners and 800,000 teachers across the country, the Department could not carry out its constitutional mandate to provide every Filipino with access to quality education without your help,” Briones said in her message.

The “OK sa DepEd” Program is a “convergence of the Department’s health programs, plans, policies, and activities for effective and efficient implementation, focuses on the major school health programs.” It covers the SBFP; the National Drug Education Program (NDEP); the Adolescent Reproductive Health Education (ARH); the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in Schools (WinS); the Medical, Dental, and Nursing Services; and the School Mental Health Program.

During the kick off, Pascua said the city government of General Santos – under the leadership of Mayor Ronnel Rivera – for providing 15 dental chairs to schools in the city as part of its health-related program.

Echoing Briones, Pascua likewise highlighted the collaboration to ensure the implementation of health and nutrition programs to maintain and improve the health of school children and personnel.

“Hindi natin kayang i-implement lahat ito nang walang tulong ang Department of Health, local government unit (LGU), at ‘yung iba’t-ibang organizations na partners natin,” Pascua said. “We need all the doctors, we need all the dentists, the nurses, the nutritionists, the ophthalmologist, and all health professionals to implement this program in order for us to address the health needs of our school children,” he ended.

 
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