By Joseph Almer Pedrajas
The Department of Education (DepEd) is postponing more off-campus activities amid rising concern over the 2019-novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (nCoV ARD) in the country.
“There are a lot of activities scheduled in February. Big congregation of students and teachers… [but] as precaution, off-campus activities of schools are suspended in the meantime,” DepEd Undersecretary and spokesman lawyer Nepomuceno Malaluan said over DZRH interview Thursday morning.
Aside from regional sports events which were earlier announced to have already been postponed, other off-campus activities, including field trips and school press conferences, have also been suspended.
Meanwhile, the spokesman said the Palarong Pambansa will still push through, although the DepEd “will still have to see” how the postponement of regional meet “will affect it.”
The undersecretary clarified that these events still have chances of pushing through. But with the school year nearing its end, he said: “Classes are a priority as of this time.”
“We are monitoring the situation and all our actions are coordinated in consolidation with the Department of Health,” he added.
Since the postponement only covers public schools, Malaluan said that they are nevertheless “encouraging and strongly advising private schools to adopt the precautionary measures” in the DepEd memo which sets guidelines to schools against the nCoV ARD.
Malaluan also assured the public these efforts are “not the case of the department panicking,” and “it should be made to clear [to the public] why these measures are being done.”