MANILA – The Department of Education (DepEd), in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH), vowed to collaborate in addressing health issues directly affecting school-aged children.
In a meeting on Monday, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte and Health Secretary Ted Herbosa discussed the clustering of Influenza-like Illnesses (ILI) in schools, reported HIV/AIDS incidences among school-aged children, teenage pregnancies, mental wellness of students, and other factors that significantly impact the overall development of learners.
"Napagtanto namin na hindi lahat ng mga suliranin sa paaralan ay resulta ng kalidad ng edukasyon. Marami sa mga ito ay sanhi ng pisikal at mental na kalusugan, na isa sa mga pinakamahalagang aspeto na dapat natin bigyang-pansin upang matiyak ang pangkalahatang pag-unlad ng isip, katawan, at damdamin ng ating mga mag-aaral (We recognize that not all problems of learners are solely related to the quality of education, both agencies have come together to prioritize the physical health and mental well-being of students. Many of it are caused by physical and mental health, which is one of the biggest aspect that should be given attention to ensure overall development of intellect, body, and emotion of our learners)," Duterte said in a statement.
Together, DepEd and DOH will work to identify the root causes of ILI outbreaks in schools and implement preventive measures to protect the health of students and staff.
Efforts will also be made to raise awareness, provide accurate information, and implement preventive programs to combat the increasing incidence of HIV/AIDS among school-aged children.
The two agencies will jointly develop comprehensive strategies to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies and provide support to pregnant students, ensuring they can continue their education.
Programs that address mental health issues among students, such as stress management, counseling services, and the creation of a supportive environment will also be implemented.
By prioritizing the physical and mental well-being of students, both agencies aim to create a conducive learning environment that nurtures the holistic development of every learner.
"Lubos akong nagpapasalamat sa pagkakataon na makasama si Kalihim Teodoro J. Herbosa at ang kanyang mga kasamahan mula sa Department of Health upang talakayin ang mga isyung may kinalaman sa kalusugan ng ating mga mag-aaral (I thank Secretary Teodoro J. Herbosa and his colleagues in the Department of Health for the opportunity to discuss issues that concerns our learners)," Duterte said.
Meanwhile, the DepEd also thanked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for the timely release of the honoraria for teachers and personnel who served in the recent Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).
Based on the report submitted by Comelec, 100 percent DepEd personnel have received their election honoraria.
"DepEd is one with the nation in hoping for a stronger and resilient Philippines with the help of our newly-elected Barangay and SK officials," the agency's statement read.
The DepEd also thanked the Public Attorney’s Office, the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other relevant agencies for rendering technical, legal, and security assistance to schools and DepEd personnel in the just concluded polls. (PNA)