Duterte to DepEd: Ensure basic level of health literacy

Photo: Facebook/Presidential Communications (Government of the Philippines)

President Rodrigo Duterte has called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to promote a basic level of “health literacy skills”.

Duterte told Congress that he has instructed DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones to enable teachers to educate Filipinos on the proper skills and ways of responding to disasters or pandemics, especially on the matter of mitigating the spread of a virus.

The president further noted that through the health literacy initiative, ordinary citizens would be able to play a more active role in preventing the “creation of secondary transmission chains”.

In a televised address, Duterte shared that his Barrett’s esophagus was worsening and could nearly progress to stage one cancer. He was advised by doctors to cease drinking alcohol so as not to aggravate his disease. His directive to DepEd for health literacy skills came after he revealed the status of his condition.

Barrett’s esophagus is commonly triggered by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a digestive disorder wherein stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. When one has Barrett’s esophagus, a lining in the tube linking the mouth to the stomach gets damaged by acid reflux and thickens. Those with the condition are more prone to developing esophageal cancer.

P754.4 billion of the proposed P4.506 trillion 2021 budget will be allocated to the education sector, primarily DepEd, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). DepEd aims to utilize the funds to support blended and flexible learning, through the production
of learning modules, acquisition of multimedia packages, and the construction of classrooms.


DepEd ready for classes opening with blended learning dry run

Photo: Facebook/DepEd Philippines

The Department of Education (DepEd) says it can start with its blended learning approach when classes open on August 24.

Under blended learning, DepEd will be adopting the combined use of TV, radio, and the internet as modes of instruction while face-to-face classes will be largely prohibited. Classes are set to formally open on August 24.

According to DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones during a COVID-19 task force meeting, public schools in as many as 345 areas have already conducted dry runs in preparation for the formal start of the 2020 to 2021 school year.

Over 22 million students were confirmed to have enrolled nationwide in private and public schools. Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon provinces (CALABARZON) had the most number of enrollees, followed by Central Luzon and the National Capital Region (Metro Manila).

In July, DepEd said it expects the number of enrollees to go up as the enrollment of late registrants has been extended until September, provided learners passed their previous grade level by attending at least 80 percent of the prescribed number of school days and quarterly requirements.

Classes were earlier disrupted in March as community quarantines were implemented all over the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 22, President Rodrigo Duterte approved DepEd’s proposal to do limited face-to-face classes starting in January in areas that are under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) or have
low cases of coronavirus disease or COVID-19.