DepEd Region 7 wants limited in-person classes in the region

Salustiano Jimenez, director for the Department of Education (DepEd) Region 7 has recommended to DepEd’s Central Office the resumption of limited face-to-face classes in the region. At present, 50 schools in Central Visayas have been identified as pilot areas for the coming school year.

Schools in Toledo City, Bogo City, and Carcar City were allowed to reopen schools. Meanwhile, some schools in Negros Oriental, Bohol, and Siquijor were given go signal to hold in-person classes. No schools from the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, Mactan, Danao, and Naga made the cut as none could comply with the requirements set by the national DepEd.

Editor’s Note: It’s about time for schools to reopen! We hope that this will be the beginning of the reopening of all schools in the Philippines!

We want to remind our leaders of the guidance given by the World Health Organization (WHO) in October 2020 [see WHO: Closure of schools should be considered only if there is no other alternative]. Hand washing is essential, obsessive disinfection is not. Use of masks under five years old is not required. Masks for children aged 6 to 11 years are still not mandatory but are subject to certain conditions. Ventilation is necessary, school closures due to a single case should be avoided. And most of all, we must remember at all times that the priority of school reopenings is to give children the opportunity to live a normal life, free from fear.

And given the new findings relating to the path to the endemicity of COVID, it is important for schools to highlight to parents the importance of a healthy immune system [see New study shows the path towards endemic COVID and The Great Barrington Declaration: Life must return to normal for the healthy, the vulnerable must be protected]. Parents should be taught how they can support their children’s health through better diets, and healthier lifestyles [see Healthy food and lifestyles: The unexpected medicine for COVID-19].

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