To allay the concerns of parents regarding the safety of their children once face-to-face classes fully resume amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Department of Education (DepEd) assured that measures would be in place in all schools.
“Now, our focus is to make sure that our schools are clean — no stagnant water — because aside from Covid, we also have [a] dengue problem at the moment,” DepEd Spokesperson Michael Poa said in a press conference early this week.
DepEd has set the school opening for School Year (SY) 2022-2023 on Aug. 22 for public schools.
Based on the guidelines it has issued, schools may implement blending learning until Oct. 31 in preparation for the resumption of five days of in-person classes starting Nov. 2, 2022.
“We will be strictly enforcing our minimum health and safety standards,” Poa said. “Students need to wear face masks, alcohol, wash facilities — and as much as possible, meron tayong [we will have] physical distancing,” he added.
Aside from preparing the school facilities, another aspect of safety when it comes to Covid-19 is strengthening the vaccination drive — especially among the personnel of the department.
“We are coordinating with DOH [Department of Health] to roll out a counselling session for the unvaccinated para mahikayat natin silang magpabakuna na para din sa kanilang kaligtasan yan (to encourage them to get vaccinated for their own safety),” Poa explained.
Aside from this, Poa said that DepEd is also coordinating with DOH for the rollout of a mobile vaccination drive. This, he said, is for those who have already decided to get vaccinated against Covid-19. “Ilalapit na natin sa kanila (We will bring it to them),” he added.
DepEd, he said, is also planning to launch counseling for those who are still unvaccinated. “We are trying to launch it as soon as possible,” he said. DepEd is eyeing to launch the initiative per region.
As DepEd takes the necessary measures to help ensure the safety of both learners and teachers, Poa also called on parents for their cooperation.
“We also need the cooperation of the parents themselves,” he said, reminding the parents or guardians of students to monitor their condition at home.
“Kung alam naman nila na medyo may symptoms na yung anak nila, huwag na lang po natin papasukin para makasigurado tayo sa kaligtasan ng mga kaklase at mga guro din sa paaralan (If they know that their child has some symptoms, let’s not send them to school so we can be sure of the safety of the classmates and teachers),” he added.