A HOUSE leader on Sunday urged the Department of Education (DedEd) to make pandemic preparedness a part of the K-12 basic education curriculum.
House Deputy Majority Leader and Bagong Henerasyon (BH) party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera said the ongoing coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) crisis underscores the need for DepEd to develop a skills-based pandemic preparedness subject or educational program for children in Kindergarten to Grade 12 to help them and their families prepare for future disease outbreaks.
“Pandemic preparedness must be taught as early as Kindergarten and up to Grade 12 if we want to create a culture of preparedness and infection control in homes and schools,” Herrera said.
Herrera said teachers should craft lesson plans focusing on skills children can integrate easily into their lifestyles and pass on to their families.
“We need to make pandemic preparedness a lifestyle by introducing it to children at an early age,” Herrera pointed out. “I’m sure children will relay whatever they have learned to their parents and everyone at home.”
“Preparing children for pandemics has to be incorporated in our system, so that any future crisis can be dealt in an easier way,” she added.
Herrera noted that both the World Health Organization and UNICEF said that children should be engaged in some activities to make them understand the protocols of their safety during any pandemic, such as frequent hand washing, social distancing, avoiding handshakes, using handkerchief when coughing or sneezing, among others.
“It’s very important that children are taught ways they can avoid getting and spreading COVID-19 and other diseases,” Herrera said.
She said that schools are also a major source to impart vital training to students and their families to help them understand and follow the norms laid down by the government during a pandemic.