MANILA To ensure that all learners are provided with the basic health and dental care, the Department of Education (DepEd) launched on Friday the Oplan Kalusugan (OK) sa DepEd Program.
In a speech at the Pembo Elementary School in Makati City, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said the program is a tool in providing both learners and DepEd personnel with health and nutrition services so they can reach their full educational potential.
She added that OK sa DepEd will focus on the School-Based Feeding Program, National Drug Education Program, Adolescent Reproductive Health Education and Water Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools and other services which involve medical and dental assistance.
Recognizing drugs or drug use as a big problem, Briones noted that drug education and related initiatives must be given space in schools.
"Alam na natin na ang problema sa droga ay totoo (We now know that the problem with drugs is real) and it is a health problem if it is a health problem, of course it is also in education. Today health and education problems have become complex like fighting illegal drugs, dengue, they have also become a political and social issue," she said.
The highlight of the program is the One Health Week which will be conducted every second week of July, emphasizing the importance of health and nutrition services.
In line with this, the regional and division offices together with elementary and secondary schools are directed to launch age-appropriate health and hygiene practices, classroom inspections, school cleaning and maintenance, and orientations for parents, communities and other stakeholders.
They are also tasked to conduct Gulayan sa Paaralan and exhibits or forums on mental health, tobacco control, drug education and school feeding.
The efficiency of the program will be assessed through progress monitoring in different levels - school, school division, regional and national.
Monitors, who are the head of each level, are expected to correct any practice not in line with the program guidelines and to recommend solutions to issues and concerns. (With reports from Lyda Gail Suyu, OJT/PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency