Holiday break starts December 15 – DepEd

Marje Pelayo   •   October 15, 2019   •   272

Elementary students walk to their classrooms at the Corazon Aquino Elementary School in Quezon City, Philippines, 03 June 2019. Some 27 million students, 23 million of whom attend public schools, began a new school year in various cities and provinces of the Philippines. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) has announced the start of the holiday break for kindergarten pupils up to grade 12 students in public schools which will be on December 15.

The calendar for school year 2019-2020 set the start of the holiday break on Dec. 15 and the Department added that the resumption of classes after the holidays will be on January 6, 2020 based on the school calendar 2019-2020 under DepEd Order 007, series of 2019.

DepEd’s school calendar applies to public elementary and high school students.

As for private schools, it would be up to the discretion of the school administrators to decide as they have their own school calendars.

According to the order, the end of the academic year 2019-2020 remains on April 3, 2020.

DepEd urged to heighten measures vs consumption of ASF-tainted products in schools

Robie de Guzman   •   November 8, 2019

 Filipino children are seen in front of a school in Manila, Philippines, 08 October 2019 (issued 11 October 2019). EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

MANILA, Philippines – A senator has urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to heighten precautionary measures to prevent students from consuming pork products tainted with African Swine Fever (ASF) in schools.

In a statement, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said DepEd should exercise vigilance following reports that processed pork meats from China tested positive for ASF, as well as some skinless longganisa and hotdog products from local manufacturer, Mekeni.

“Sa mga feeding program na isinasagawa ng DepEd, halimbawa, dapat siguruhin ng ating mga guro na gumagamit sila ng mga malinis at mapagkakatiwalaang mga produktong ipakakain sa mga bata,” he said in a statement.

While ASF does not pose a threat to human health, the senator said schools should raise awareness and exhaust all sanitary measures to protect students from ASF-contaminated products.

Gatchalian also cited an advisory from the Department of Health which identified uncooked and undercooked contaminated pork as a source of ASF’s spread in swine herds.

Health authorities said the swine disease is introduced into a herd when contaminated raw pork is ingested by a pig. The virus spreads when contaminated pigs get into direct contact with other pigs.

Food waste, feed, and garbage can also cause ASF when ingested by pigs.

“Etong mga hakbang na maaari nating gawin, nagsisimula ito sa responsableng pamimili at lubos na pagluluto ng karne sa mga paaralan. Ito ay upang maiwasan natin ang pagkakasakit ng mga mag-aaral pati na rin ang pagkalat pa ng ASF,” he said.

The Department of Agriculture earlier said that the illegal importation of pork products from China was responsible for the spread of the ASF virus in the country.

Gatchalian also urged DepEd to involve parents in efforts to raise awareness on sanitary practices and preventive measures.

“While schools play an important role to protect our students’ health, it is important that we also extend our efforts at the household level. Kahit gawin ng mga paaralan ang lahat ng pwedeng gawin kung hindi naman nababantayan sa mga bahay nila, malalagay pa rin sa panganib ang ating mga estudyante,” he said.

DepEd admits early pregnancy, lack of teachers remain a serious concern

Maris Federez   •   September 13, 2019

File photo of a public school teacher

The budget allocated for the Department of Education (DepEd) for the year 2020 is around P551-billion.

This is higher than the current department budget.

At Thursday’s Senate hearing on the proposed DepEd budget, as senators questioned the country’s quality of education, Secretary Leonor Briones admitted that the inadequate number of teachers remains a problem.

“Definitely size matters. The size of Finland, the size of Singapore, the size of the Philippines. 27 million learners, 900 thousand teachers,” Briones claimed.

The DepEd chief added that the department also considers early pregnancy as another serious problem.

“Ang instruction kasi ng President is: starting age 9, umpisahan na ang pagturo ng reproductive health [The president’s instruction was: starting age 9, we should start teaching reproductive health]. We’re taking it seriously and we are working closely with the Department of Health,” Briones said.

The Commission on Population report showed that the rate of teenage pregnancy in the country remains high, with close to 196,000 Filipinos age 15 to 19 getting pregnant every year.  (from the report of Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

Angara wants probe into failed construction of 47,000 DepEd classrooms

Marje Pelayo   •   August 12, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sonny Angara wants an investigation on the school rooms that the Department of Education (DepEd) planned to construct in 2018.

In its 2018 annual audit report, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the DepEd was supposed to construct 47,000 new classrooms, however, only 11 were completed.

“That’s not even one percent of the target,” the senator said.

Angara, who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance, also wants to probe into the P27-M worth of undelivered textbooks supposedly for DepEd’s K-12 program.

The DepEd, meanwhile, said they are now distributing all instructional materials stored in five of their warehoused in Taguig City which cost the government P113-M.

“Regarding the large number of learning materials procured, they already allocated the materials and there is already an approved activity request (AR) and is in the process of releasing the buffer materials to the lower units,” the DepEd said in a statement.

The Department assured that they will revisit the agency’s existing guidelines on the procurement of instructional materials and will conduct an evaluation on its buffer stocks.

“The Department is already working with its internal and regional units to comply with the audit recommendations,” DepEd’s official statement read.

“Some of the findings are due to late updating of consolidated reports and reconciliation of voluminous records with implementing units,” it added. – MNP (with details from Harlene Delgado)

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