A lawmaker at the House of Representatives on Thursday urged public and private education stakeholders to heed the call for a national academic health break and academic ease following the unprecedented rise in infections amid coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Quezon City. Rep. Alfred Vargas, in a resolution, said the Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) should implement more reasonable workloads and requirements in view of the surge in coronavirus cases.
“With the alarming increase in Covid-19 cases affecting our fellow Filipinos’ mental well-being and the financial capacity of families – as well as the capacity of our learners and students to cope and adjust in a healthy way – government must explore innovative, compassionate, and proactive programs and policies that address these real concerns,” he said.
Vargas said the pandemic “is as much a mental health issue as it is an issue of physical health.”
He argued that the government and other sectors must work together to help individuals, families, and communities cope with pandemic-related stresses or recover from its adverse impacts.
The spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, he said, has further negatively affected the lives and well-being of millions of learners, students, parents, and teachers all around the country, and has led to some academic groups calling for an ‘academic health break’ or ‘academic ease.’
Citing statements from the Quezon City Public School Teachers Association (QCPSTA) and other groups, Vargas said there is a reported rise in the number of teachers, students, and parents falling ill since the start of classes last January 3.
He also said several universities have heeded the call for an academic health break so students, parents, and teachers can focus on their health and well-being.
Vargas expressed hope that the concerned agencies and institutions would listen to the appeal.
“Amidst the changing policy landscape of this pandemic, the DepEd and the CHED have been supportive of the physical and mental health care needs of learners and teachers, recognizing the need to prioritize physical and mental resilience and well-being,” he said. (PNA)