Public schools open in W. Visayas amid pandemic

Public schools open in W. Visayas amid pandemic

ILOILO CITY – The Department of Education (DepEd) in Western Visayas welcomed over 1.7 million learners in various public schools in the region as distance learning officially opened on Monday as face-to-face classes are still not allowed.

“So far, we haven’t monitored any problem. We monitor through our Brigada Eskwela Public Assistance Command Center,” said Hernani Escullar Jr., DepEd Western Visayas regional public information officer, said in an interview.

The public assistance command center which was established last week at the regional office will be up and running until Sept. 24. It can accommodate queries from stakeholders and coordinate with schools division offices in the region.

It can be reached through numbers 336-2816 and 0970-645 7696, email region6.obe@deped.gov.ph, Facebook account depedtayowesternvisayas, and website region6.deped.gov.ph.

As of Monday morning, the quick count enrollment of DepEd showed that 1,394,480 learners have enrolled in public schools in the region’s 20 schools divisions, while 387,152 have availed of the early registration.

For this school year 2021-2022, based on DepEd’s quick count, the region has a running total of over 1.87 million learners, including those from the private schools and state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges (LUCs).

Meanwhile, the Department of Health Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH WV CHD) has advised parents and teachers to always observe minimum public health standards (MPHS) during the distribution and retrieval of modules.

In a virtual presser, DOH WV CHD medical officer III and spokesperson Dr. Bea Camille Natalaray said it would be better if they come up with a strategy to lessen their exposure, such as requesting barangay officials to get the modules for the learners.

Natalaray also encouraged parents and teachers to stay at home and immediately inform their barangay health emergency response teams (BHERTS) if they are experiencing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) symptoms.

She said teachers, especially those who have comorbidities, should get vaccinated as they are already included in the A4 priority group or economic frontline sector.

“Let us have another layer of protection, especially our teachers who encounter a lot of people this opening of classes,” she added. (PNA)

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