PASIG CITY, November 13, 2023 – The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Health (DOH) held a significant meeting today, November 13, 2023, to address the multifaceted challenges faced by Filipino learners. Recognizing that not all problems of learners are solely related to the quality of education, both agencies have come together to prioritize the physical health and mental well-being of students.

During the meeting, Vice President and DepEd Secretary Sara Z. Duterte and DOH Secretary Teodoro J. Herbosa emphasized that both agencies are committed to working collaboratively to tackle health issues directly affecting school-aged children. The discussion revolved around a range of critical concerns, including the clustering of Influenza-like Illnesses (ILI) in schools across the country, reported HIV/AIDS incidences among school-aged children, teenage pregnancies, mental wellness of students, and other factors that significantly impact the overall development of learners.

By acknowledging that the well-being of learners extends beyond traditional educational boundaries, the DepEd and the DOH have taken a groundbreaking step towards creating a holistic approach to education. Both agencies firmly believe that a healthy body and mind are vital prerequisites for effective learning and long-term academic success.

The collaboration between the DepEd and the DOH aims to address several key areas, including Clustering of Influenza-like Illnesses (ILI), HIV/AIDS Incidence, Teenage Pregnancies, and Mental Wellness. Together, these agencies will work towards identifying the root causes of ILI outbreaks in schools and implementing preventive measures to protect the health of students and staff. Efforts will also be made to raise awareness, provide accurate information, and implement preventive programs to combat the increasing incidence of HIV/AIDS among school-aged children. Additionally, the DepEd and the DOH will jointly develop comprehensive strategies to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies and provide support to pregnant students, ensuring they can continue their education. Finally, both agencies will collaborate to implement programs that address mental health issues among students, such as stress management, counseling services, and the creation of a supportive environment.

With a shared vision of enhancing the overall educational experience for Filipino learners, the DepEd and the DOH are determined to work hand in hand to address these pressing health concerns. By prioritizing the physical and mental well-being of students, both agencies aim to create a conducive learning environment that nurtures the holistic development of every learner.