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The Department of Education (DepEd) in the schools division of Palawan and Puerto Princesa City have laid out their respective plans and preparation for the coming school year under the New Normal.
The DepEd recently has announced that they extended the enrollment of Kindergarten to Grade 12 students until July 15, 2020, through Remote and Drop Box Enrollment. The first deadline for the enrollment was on June 30, 2020, before it was extended to another 15 days.
Last week, the DepEd-Division of Puerto Princesa under the leadership of its Division Superintendent, Sevillano Arzaga has formulated its Learning Continuity Plan for 2020-2021. City Mayor Lucilo R. Bayron, being the city’s chief executive and Chairman of the Local School Board, participated in the activity.
The approaching school year will be an entirely new learning scheme, since the DepEd will introduce Blended Learning through various online platform available and applicable for learners, in an effort to avoid physical contact due to coronavirus disease (Covid19).
In a Memorandum issued by the DepEd Central Office dated June 30, 2020, Undersecretary Alain del Pascua informed that Information Technology (IT) equipment such as desktop computers and laptops acquired through DepEd Computerization Program may already be issued and teachers may borrow them for use in blended learning.
He said that there are already 532,637 units of Desktop computers, laptops, and tablets available in the schools, which the teachers could borrow.
Undersecretary Pascua further said that this is only a temporary solution for teachers without devices, since acquiring IT equipment for some 93,221 teachers out of the total 847,467 teachers nationwide will cost P27-Billion from government funds.
The DepEd-Division of Palawan on the other hand, conscious of the health-risks caused by Covid-19, has issued on June 30, 2020, a Division Advisory, encouraging all schools within the Division of Palawan to use Ultra-Violet (UV) lights in disinfecting papers and learning modules to be used for the coming school year.
DepEd-Palawan, Schools Division Superintendent, Natividad Bayubay, CESO VI, said that UV lights from special germicidal light with wave lengths ranging from 200mm to 280mm, kills germs such as bacteria and viruses, and has been used as means of disinfecting hospitals, wards and operating theatres for decades.
She further said that the sanitizing effects of UV lights has been seen with other coronaviruses including the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
“At least 15 minutes of UVC exposure inactivated SARS making it impossible for the virus to replicate,” Superintendent Bayubay said, citing a scientific studies.
She instructed schools within DepEd, Division of Palawan to disinfect papers and learning modules, and a personnel should wear proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
“UV Lights disinfection must be done in a closed, well-ventilated room or a draped area to reduce risk of exposure,” she said in the Division Advisory.