The Department of Education (DepEd) assured that it is addressing the two major directives of President Duterte involving mental health, psychosocial preparedness, and health literacy among learners and teachers.
During the "Handang Isip, Handa Bukas" virtual press briefing, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that DepEd was tasked to create steps to enhance the mental health and psychosocial preparedness of learners and teachers due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Briones added that there was also a specific instruction for the agency in the President's budget speech on Thursday which was to give emphasis on health literacy. She explained that even before COVID-19 came, the agency has faced many diseases such as SARS, AIDS, and flu which is why health literacy has already been built in the new curriculum.
"Iyong health literacy...nakaembed 'yan sa ibat-ibang subjects ng ating mga bata from K-to-12 (Health literacy is already embedded in the different subjects of learners from K-to-12)," Briones said.
She said that this is to ensure that the learners are ready to face the dangers of health as well as to maintain wellness among them as well as teachers and the community.
Last week, the agency had a briefing on the steps being taken by the department to enhance the psychosocial health of the learners and staff.
Briones said that it has been the practice of DepEd during disasters, threats, and dangers to conduct psychosocial orientation and adjustments for the learners and teachers. DepEd did this in Taal and Marawi so the practice is not really new, according to the Education Secretary.
This will help learners at teachers deal with what threatens their well-being and peace of mind.
"May nagsasabi nababahala sila dahil tumataas ang rate ng suicide sa mga bata at sa mga adults kaya nagbigay ng instruction ang Presidente. Sa totoo lamang on record sa amin dalawang kaso ng bata nawalan ng buhay tinitingnan kung ano ang dahilan kung saan ito nanggagaling (There are some who are saying that they are worried with the rising suicide rate among children and adults that's why the President issued an instruction. To tell you the truth, we have a record of two children who died but we are investigating how and where was this from)," Briones said.
With regards to mental health, the agency has conducted a series of psychosocial interventions for the past two months not only for learners but also for our teachers, staff, and executives.
"So halos araw araw may schedule tayo na webinar para sa iba-ibang grupo ng mga citizens na naghaharap ng mga siguro masasabi nating psychosocial issues dahil sa threat nga ng pandemic na ito (So everyday we have a scheduled webinar for different groups of people whoa re facing different psychosocial issues due to the threat of the pandemic)," Briones said.
"So we'd like to assure everyone that we are implementing, we have been implementing the latest mandates of the President," she added.