Even if face-to-face classes remain prohibited at this time, the number of learners and personnel of the Department of Education (DepEd) who contracted the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has reached 4,468.
DepEd Undersecretary and Chief of Staff Nepomuceno Malaluan, during a Senate hearing on Wednesday, March 3, revealed this information as he presented the list of the school divisions with the most number of recorded COVID-19 cases so far.
Of the 4,468 COVID-19 infections DepEd has recorded so far, Malaluan said that 1,638 of which are students and 2,830 are teaching and non-teaching personnel of the agency.
As shown in his presentation, Malaluan noted that Quezon province has the highest number of COVID-19 cases within DepEd at 193 or 102 learners and 91 teaching and non-teaching personnel.
This is followed by Batangas with 158 cases (94 learners and 64 teaching and non-teaching personnel) and Bataan with 128 cases (108 learners and 20 teaching and non-teaching personnel).
Also included in the list of divisions with high COVID-19 cases include Cebu province with 114; Quezon City with 104; Cavite Province with 100; Navotas with 99; Davao City with 94; and Negros Occidental 88. Malaluan’s presentation was among those included DepEd’s Report on its pilot limited face-to-face classes with risk-based analysis.
On Tuesday, March 2, the Senate adopted a resolution recommending the conduct of limited in-person classes in areas with few or zero COVID-19 cases.
The said Senate hearing aimed to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country’s basic education system.
On March 3, UNICEF also released data showing that schools for more than 168 million children globally have been completely closed for almost an entire year due to COVID-19 lockdowns.
As it outlined the “overwhelming evidence” of the impact of school closures on children, UNICEF called attention to the education emergency and raised awareness about the need for governments to “keep schools open” or prioritize them in reopening plans.
Last month, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said in a televised briefing that Philippines is the “only country” in Southeast Asian that has yet to resume face-to-face classes amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.