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Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in schools

THE coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) pandemic is the defining global crisis of our time and the greatest challenge we have faced since World War Two. Since its emergence in Asia late last year, the crisis has spread to every continent except Antarctica. We have now reached the tragic milestone of one million deaths and the human family is suffering under an almost intolerable loss.

The occurrence of this dreadful disease has not only dampened man’s health but also shaken and dismantled the socio-economic status of the world, one of which is the education system. The many activities which require usual face to face interaction in school and in the workplace are not yet still possible due to increasing number and severity of COVID cases around the globe. Work from Home and Skeletal Workforce schemes are being institutionalized to prevent the spread of the virus as everybody is vulnerable to acquiring disease when exposed to public. Teaching and learning have become different these days and that remote learning has been introduced by the Department of Education to make education continue amid this pandemic. Precautionary measures, observing IATF protocols, healthy lifestyles and being vigilant to community’s health status are of utmost importance to help flatten the curve.

International and local news, government and private entities keep reminding everyone in all walks of life on the importance of social distancing, wearing of face masks and face shields, eating nutritious food and taking vitamins to boost the immune system. It was also firmly stressed and advocated that the best defense against the spread of this virus is through proper hand washing, sanitation and hygiene.

Anent this global crisis, DepEd is enjoining all schools to intensify the implementation of the School-Based Management WASH in Schools (SBM-WinS) program.

The present WinS program condition, implementation and sustainability will be of great help abreast one’s knowledge and practices more so that teachers, learners, parents, school administrators and the community at large are at their most daunting stigma and coping mechanisms brought by the pandemic. Lita A. Baptista, T-#, Luquilu Elementary School, Luquilu, Cabagan, Isabela