By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Amid the threat of the 2019 novel coronavirus, schools in Manila will strengthen and reinforce hygiene and sanitation practices among its learners.
Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Maria Magdalena Lim, in an interview after the launch of Eskwelang Unstoppable Awards in Lakandula High School in Tondo, Manila, said that the reminder on school safety and hygiene in schools has been forwarded to public elementary, junior and senior high schools in Manila.
While a directive pertaining to the novel coronavirus has yet to be issued by the DepEd Central Office, Lim said that hygiene practices such as proper and regular handwashing and good toilet habits are being discussed in classrooms by teachers.
“We focus on proper information dissemination, we use technology, proper communication lines with school heads and make sure that not only our teachers are aware but also our learners,” Lim said. She noted that in Manila schools, students follow a schedule when to wash their hands especially before and after meals.
Lim said that the Division of Manila has 107 public schools – 73 of which are elementary schools while 34 are secondary schools.
Fight against poor sanitation in schools
To further promote the importance of sanitation among schools and its learners, DepEd has partnered with Unilever Philippines through its Domex brand – for the “Eskwelang Unstoppable Awards.”
The awards, which aims to “accelerate progress towards reaching national standards,” targets schools and division offices to adopt the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Program or the WinS program being implemented by DepEd. The award also aims to promote good hygiene and sanitation habits by reinforcing the importance of maintaining usable, clean and safe toilets across schools in the Philippines.”
Through the “Eskwelang Unstoppable Awards,” Domex hopes that steps will be taken to improve sanitation in schools. The said awards will culminate during the World Toilet Day on November 19, 2020 wherein a total of five (5) schools will be recognized.
Aside from the “Eskwelang Unstoppable Awards,” Unilever’s Domex, DepEd and Deustche Gesselschraft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) have also partnered with the #TogetherWeAreUnstoppable campaign directed towards ensuring that seven (7) million children will have access to usable, clean, and safe toilets by year 2021. The said campaign also aims to rally the nation to “help win the war against poor sanitation in schools.”