Learning institutions told to designate health focal personnel

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City officials encouraged all private and public schools, universities, colleges, training centers and other learning institutions in the city to designate their health focal personnel tasked to formulate or further strengthen campus based-health programs and to ensure that all health standards and protocols are being observe and implemented in support to the city government’s efforts against the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Under Resolution No. 5444, series of 2020, signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, the City Council stated that to ensure the success and continuity of the allowed and practical tracing and learning modalities adopted and currently being implemented by the different schools and training centers based in the city, focus should be to safeguard the health of learners, students and all school personnel.

City legislators stipulated the same can be better realized through the designation of a trained health focal staff by each school whose focus is to formulate and effect appropriate campus fit health guidelines and programs both for learners and personnel, collaborating with the City Health Services Office and to ensure the strict implementation and observance of all health protocols set forth by the national and local governments.

The Council added that the emergence of the health pandemic brought about unprecedented effects into the lives of the Filipinos and those in the different parts of  the world and as an immediate proactive action, the whole country has been placed under a state of national health emergency and soon under state of calamity, extending it until next year.

According to the Council, COVID-19 has drastically changed the way of life of the people as it altered the usual norm of doing business, caused various adjustments on the part of the government in implementing and extending its basic services, and disrupted the common teaching modalities of schools in delivering the learning needs of the students.

The council asserted that giving importance to continuous learning, schooling and training, the education department, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) came up with their own flexible learning modalities.

As a precautionary measure for the spread of the deadly virus and ensuring the welfare and safety of the learners, especially in the basic education, the council admitted that home-based schooling has now become the mandatory practice while CHED and TESDA adopted flexible learning that may allow limited face-to-face or in-person schooling but only in low risk areas with very stringent guidelines in observance of health protocols.

The council asserted that the designated trained health focal personnel shall ensure that the learning institutions will be readily compliant to the existing health standards and protocols crafted by health experts to prevent the spread of the virus among the learners and staff of the learning institutions.

Among these minimum health standards are the wearing of face masks and shields at all times, the observance of physical distancing and the practice of personal hygiene in the homes and workplaces. By Dexter A. See