By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Amid the fear and anxiety due to the novel coronavirus, personnel and learners of the Department of Education (DepEd) find various ways to lighten up the situation by extending help and encouraging all frontliners as they battle against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
DepEd has been featuring the efforts of its personnel – both teaching and non-teaching – as well as the learners from different parts of the nation amid the COVID-19 situation in the country. While teachers and learners are at home, DepEd encourages them to share their own efforts in helping others as their respective communities deal with the public health crisis.
In its official Facebook page, DepEd has been featuring its personnel who extend help to the frontliners and their respective local communities. It also enjoins learners to continue showing support to frontliners by submitting inspiring art works and encouraging messages.
In their own way
Personnel of the DepEd from various regions and divisions have been stepping up in their efforts to support frontliners amid the COVID-19 situation in the country. “In the midst of chaos, DepEd employees, both teaching and non-teaching, continue to find ways to ease the burden of our frontliners,” DepEd said.
Anna Marie Carmen Romero from DepEd Division of Angeles City shared that school heads lent their thermal scanners to the Angeles City Police Office who are safeguarding the borders of the city during the Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
Division nurse Heidie Suarez provided face masks and sanitizers to hospitals, policemen, and barangay frontliners, while education program supervisor Dr. Emily Sarmiento, along with and her grandchildren, sent words of encouragement to support her son and other frontliners.
DepEd said that its teachers also provide support for frontliners by doing volunteer work. “The whole schools division office of Angeles City has committed to utter a prayer for the frontliners and the nation through a watch prayer every 6:00 am and 12:00 noon and those at home also continue to pray for the men and women braving the situation outside,” Romero said.
Meanwhile, DepEd also lauded the teachers and other personnel of DepEd MIMAROPA Region and Schools Division Office (SDO)-Occidental Mindoro to help fight COVID-19. Through “Gurong nasa Bahay, Inyong Karamay” project, Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE) teachers from SDO-Occidental Mindoro made faces masks while other personnel made improvised face shields to be distributed to frontliners in the province.
DepEd also recognized the efforts of Engr. Louie Palete of Koronadal National High School for assembling the COVID-19 Disinfectant Misting Machine (DMM). “In this time that our world is bracing the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, he made an innovation to reduce and control the spread of the virus,” DepEd said.
The DMM, DepEd described, promotes social distancing because of the sensor that can detect a person from 1 meter away and can disinfect from head to toe – including your hands, making it an economical, portable, and very practical machine.
DepEd said recyclable materials were used for the first model unit due to limited resources and primary parts were made up of components used in one of the robotics projects of senior and junior high school learners of the school while the secondary parts were recycled PVC pipe and water containers.
Currently, DepEd said that there are six machines deployed to different agencies, including the City Government of Koronadal, DepEd Region 12, DPWH-South Cotabato, PNP Region 12, Provincial Hospital of South Cotabato and Kendrick Security Agency for the Municipality of Tampakan.
DepEd said that the PNP National Engineering Unit also “adopted the model unit as prototype and will be brought to Camp Crame for mass production.” At the moment, DepEd added that through the volunteers, “there is an ongoing mass production to cater to other local government units and private organizations.”
Meanwhile, other teachers are also doing various contributions as a response to COVID-19. For instance, teacher Noelynne from Agusuhin Elementary School in Subic, Zambales came up with a short story entitled “Kakaibang Araw,” which is based on the lives of the frontliners and the new challenges they have to face in fighting the pandemic.
DepEd also lauded the team effort of teacher Jeth Aquino and his family. A teacher from Pantar Sur Elementary School in Balaoan in La Union, DepEd said that Aquino, along with his wife, decided to celebrate the birthdays of their children – Einnjel Avril and Evril Anjlo – by giving 100 5-kilo bags of rice to the people in their community.
“At first, they were sad about their birthday celebration but when I explained that we can make more people happy by doing this, they smiled eventually,” Aquino said in Filipino.
Aside from the rice, Aquino’s family has also gave away DIY face masks, face shields, sanitizers and liquid hand soaps to the frontliners in their area. Along with his friends, he continues to solicit funds to buy more rice and other relief goods for distribution to those who are in need during the ECQ.
Other teachers also unleashed their artistic side by creating inspirational and informative artworks. Jit Elemento, a teacher of Bamban National High School in Masinloc, Zambales made a comic strip entitled “10 COVIDMENTS” which outlines safety reminders during the COVID-19 outbreak while Rafael Martinez, a teacher of Guiguinto Vocational National High School in Bulacan, rekindled his passion for painting by making inspirational artworks. “I want to encourage everyone to go relive their passion while staying at home, they can do this my sending out messages of hope,” he added.
Messages for the heroes
Aside from teachers and other DepEd personnel, learners from various parts of the country do their part in fighting the COVID-19 by coming up with encouraging messages and inspiring artworks recognizing the efforts of the frontliners.
Pupils from Paitan Elementary School in Baliuag, Bulacan cheer up “frontline heroes” through drawings and messages of thanks. Through artworks, Kenxhin Aquino, a Grade 3 learner from Meycauayan, Bulacan and Raphaela Claudia Rojo, a Grade 6 learner from Damzon, Malabon also commended the frontliners for their service to the nation amid the health crisis.
While sad due to the abrupt suspension of classes, Lance Carwyn Lo from Tala Elementary School in Caloocan City spends his time drawing and painting. He also recorded a song dedicated for his mother who is a domestic helper in Singapore, for those who are sick because of the virus, and for the COVID-19 frontliners.
Meanwhile, teacher Argie Pinggol from Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur asked her daughter Yelena Eurie, a Grade 6 learner, to thank the frontliners. “We want our frontliners to be recognized as Pinoy heroes,” they said. “We also urge everyone to do their part follow the safety measures being implemented by our government,” they added.
Amid the current public health crisis, DepEd continues to encourage all of its teachers, personnel, and learners to keep sending their show support to frontliners.