DO 39, s. 2003 – Opening of Schools Starting June 9, 2003 and Using School Opening for Advocacy on SARS and Other Public/School Health Issues

May 20, 2003
DO 39, s. 2003
Opening of Schools Starting June 9, 2003 and Using School Opening for Advocacy on SARS and Other Public/School Health Issues

To: Bureau Directors
Regional Directors
Directors of Services, Centers and Heads of Units
Schools Division/City Superintendents
Heads, Public and Private Elementary and Secondary Schools
Vocational School Superintendents/Administrators

  1. Cognizant of the potential role of schools in disseminating important information on SARS and other public health issues not only to parents and students but to the community at large and after consultation with the Department of Health, the opening of the schoolyear will proceed as originally scheduled on June 9, 2003. The first week, however, will be used to provide basic information on SARS and other ailments to the school community and the general public.
  2. All schools will open on June 9. All teachers will be required to report starting on that day. However, classes will not be held and the children are not yet expected to go to school. School health personnel and principals/school heads will be fully mobilized on June 9-12, 2003 to:
    > orient all teachers, PTCA members and the local community on DepEd Order No. 34 and on other school health issues and concerns.
    > conduct classroom PTCA meetings to discuss parents’ responsibilities on the prevention of diseases among the children and other members of their household.
    > conduct clean-up drive to eradicate breeding places of mosquitoes and improve environmental sanitation in the school and community, especially the elimination of any standing or stagnant water;
    > prepare proto-type lesson plans for the integration of SARS and dengue fever prevention in appropriate learning areas; and
    > see to it that water supply is available and toilets are functional in the school.
  3. Regular classes shall start on June 16, with all students reporting to their respective schools. The advocacy efforts to promote health among the school populace and vigilance of school administrators on disease outbreaks shall be sustained with the classroom teachers providing the basic information on SARS and other diseases to their students.
  4. In preparation for the school-level advocacy, the following activities will be undertaken:
    1. The Department of Education, through the Health and Nutrition Center, in close coordination with the Departments of Health and of the Interior and Local Government will conduct the training of all schools medical officers and Regional Health and Nutrition Unit Staff on May 26-27, 2003 at the Richville Mansion Hotel, Mandaluyong City. The training shall equip the participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to undertake intensive advocacy activities on the prevention of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and dengue fever among others, and on the promotion of personal hygiene and environmental sanitation.
      Regional directors and schools division superintendents shall see to it that the regional and division action plans on SARS prevention formulated during the training shall be fully implemented, and for the trained health personnel to take the lead in the conduct of massive information campaign on SARS, dengue fever, personal hygiene and sanitation.
    2. During the first week of June (June 2 – 6), the following activities are expected to be undertaken by the schools division superintendents and the health personnel of the division
      > Orient principals, school heads, supervisors and other school health personnel on the prevention of SARS etc.
      > Coordinate with LGUs and other concerned GOs and NGOs on the conduct of the SARS orientation at the school level;
      > Identify learning areas in the curricula for the integration of SARS prevention messages;
      *Divisions, such as specific ones in Metro Manila, that have had earlier SARS/Dengue prevention programs with the local government may start regular classes on June 9.

      • Replicate materials needed for the orientation of teachers and PTCAs;
      • Conduct survey of health facilities and sanitation in school; and
      • Post SARS prevention posters in strategic places in the schools and communities
  5. All principals/school heads and school health personnel shall closely monitor the activities conducted within the first two weeks of June in their areas of responsibility. It is likewise expected that school activities on SARS prevention will be closely coordinated with the DOH and DILG Anti-SARS Task Forces
  6. A report on accomplishments shall be submitted to the Office of the Secretary, Attention: Health and Nutrition Center, DepEd Complex, Meralco Ave., Pasig City on or before June 30, 2003. The DepEd Anti-SARS Hotlines listed in the DepEd Order #34, s. 2003 may also be used for the submission of reports and for other communications on the matter.DepEd Hotlines and E-Mail Addresses
    DepEd Central Office Anti-SARS Hotlines : (02) 633-72-45 /(02) 687-2520
    DepEd Anti-SARS Text Messaging
    Type Name School /Town Message
    DepEd Anti-SARS E-Mail Addresses
  7. Widest dissemination of and strict compliance with this Order is directed.