DepEd: School kids in water shortage-hit areas may forego school uniforms

Robie de Guzman   •   March 15, 2019   •   3263

MANILA, Philippines – School children in areas hit by water shortage may forego the wearing of school uniforms, according to the Department of Education (DepEd).

DepEd said in a statement that beginning Thursday (March 14), they are allowing students and teachers in public elementary and high school from selected Metro Manila areas to attend classes even if they are wearing casual clothes.

DepEd said they will practice flexibility with their uniform policy in consideration of the ongoing water supply problems in areas being serviced by Manila Water, which disrupted the normal routine in households and establishments.

“We will be very flexible. Ang pinaka-priority natin ay ma-maintain natin na ang mga bata at guro ay papasok,” DepEd Spokesperson Undersecretary Analyn Sevilla said.

“We are flexible so that classes will still continue and for humanitarian reasons. We understand that water supply should be maximized and utilized for more relevant uses such as for food, hygiene,” Sevilla added.

The DepEd official said cancelling classes due to the water shortage is not an option because school children need to complete their required minimum contact time to avoid the creation of another problem.

Sevilla shared that the adjustment in uniform rules was prompted by the request of Mandaluyong schools, following complaints about the maintenance of their comfort rooms due to water interruption.

“(We) allow or authorize non-wearing of uniforms for students and teachers in public schools affected by the water supply shortage in NCR, particularly Mandaluyong which requested for such,” Sevilla said. – Robie de Guzman

Off-campus national, regional events may be held starting Feb 24 — DepEd

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 20, 2020

The Department of Education (DepEd) has announced that all national, regional, and off-campus activities may resume starting February 24.

“All DepEd units may already resume the conduct of national, regional, and/or off-campus activities starting February 24, 2020, provided all precautionary measures identified by DepEd and DOH are strictly followed,” according to DepEd’s statement.

DepEd also instructed schools to dedicate weekends to school-wide general cleaning and intensified disinfection efforts.

Meanwhile, DepEd also said that all personnel and students who will proceed with their scheduled personal travels to countries with confirmed COVID-19 cases shall be subject to mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving in the Philippines.—AAC

Briones: Report that ‘70,000 students in Bicol cannot read’, an exaggeration

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 17, 2020

Deped Secretary Leonor Briones

Department of Education (Deped) Secretary Leonor Briones said the Deped Bicol region report about 70,000 students that cannot read is an exaggeration.

Briones slammed the results of pretests administered by the Philippine Informal Reading Inventory (Phil-IRI).

“Tinawagan ko kanina ang regional director sa Bicol, ang sabi niya less than 5% lang. Hindi naman ganoon kadami. Medyo insulto iyon sa mga taga-Bicol (I called the regional director in Bicol, he said it’s only less than 5%. That is not a lot. That is an insult to the people of Bicol),” she said.

The Education Secretary also said there are numerous factors in determining the level of comprehension and level of understanding of a child.

Deped plans to release a more accurate report once they conducted a validation. Briones also said that Deped has a program to increase the reading literacy in the country.

She also advised the media to be careful in interpreting and reporting the Phil-IRI.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

DepEd suspends February national, regional events amid novel coronavirus threat

Robie de Guzman   •   February 5, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education(DepEd) announced it has postponed its national and regional events initially scheduled in February as part of its preventive measures amid the threat of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

During a Senate hearing Tuesday, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the decision is aimed at protecting teachers, students and their family members against the virus as school events often draw crowds from all regions.

In a separate advisory, DepEd said that among the suspended February events until an unspecified date are the National School Press Conference (NSPC) in Tuguegarao, Cagayan and the National Festival of Talents (NFOT) in Ilagan, Isabela.

Also postponed are events such as the National Science and Technology Fair (NSTF) to be held in Metro Manila, as well as regional athletic meets like the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association supposed to be held in Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental.

The department, however, said that the Palarong Pambansa athletic meet, which is slated in May, will still push through.

DepEd also said that official travels of its personnel and learners for this month to countries with confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV are revoked.

In a memorandum released Monday evening, the department also outlined the actions that schools should take to protect students and staff from the deadly virus.

These include the formation and activation of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) in DepEd regional offices and schools; a preventive alert system, and the strict compliance of preventive measures set by the Department of Health that aims to stem the spread of the virus in schools and other institutions.

It also urged school administrations to educate individuals on how to guard themselves against influenza and other seasonal diseases.

The Philippines has three confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV, with one death.

Chinese public health authorities on Wednesday reported the virus has killed 490 people with a total 24,324 confirmed cases.


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