By JOHN PAUL NACION
MANILA – The Department of Education is being urged to implement an academic health break for both teachers and students in areas where there is a surge in COVID-19 cases.
“There have been many reports of positive cases from the ranks of teachers, their family members, parents, and students from COVID-19. With record-breaking numbers of daily positive cases, we appeal to the Department of Education to consider implementing an academic health break in areas under alert level 3 to give our students, teachers, and their parents time to rest and recuperate from the onslaught of the surge of the Omicron variant,” ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro said in a press release.
Public health advocates have attributed the recent surge in the number of daily COVID-19 cases to the Omicron variant, which experts said is three to five times more transmissible than the earlier Delta variant. On Tuesday, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines for the past two years has breached over three million, with 28,000 new cases recorded on a single day.
Several universities and colleges in the National Capital Region have suspended both their online and limited face-to-face classes as students, teachers, and staff have contracted the virus. The Commission on Higher Education, as of this writing, has no formal announcement yet.
“Giving our teachers and the students time to rest, especially amid the ongoing surge would allow them to focus on their health and recovery,” Castro said, adding that the education department should also have adequate monitoring on how teachers, personnel, and students who have contracted the virus are faring.
“We hope that the Department of Education heed the call of our education stakeholders for the much-needed academic health break for the NCR and other areas under alert level 3 as the country gets hit by the onslaught of the COVID-19 surge,” Castro said. (JJE)