Manila declared a one-week ‘health break’ for students and teachers


The new year just started, but the same routine remains – at least for students and educators, who are still trying to cope with the “new normal” setting. Due to the sudden surge of COVID-19 cases, Manila City Mayor “Isko” Moreno Domagoso has suspended classes and declared a one-week “health break” beginning January 14 to 21.

The announcement applies to students and teachers across all levels of the city’s schools, both in-person and online. Moreno added during a press briefing on Thursday, ‘[Mababawasan] ang anxiety ng mga guro, magulang at estudyante.’

The mayor also stated‘Marami tayong mga guro ngayon infected, marami rin tayong mga estudyante infected ng (We have many teachers and students nowadays who are infected with) COVID-19.’

Earlier this week, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) called for the Department of Education (DepEd) to carry out a two-week health break under Alert Level 3. The group had conducted a survey that showed more than 50% of teachers in Metro Manila exhibit flu-like symptoms.

ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio said that both teachers and students are struggling to keep up amid the Omicron-driven surge. He said, ‘It’s only humane to give all of us a break amid this outbreak, if only to allow us to recover.’

DepEd responded to the call with a memorandum that allowed its regional and school division offices to decide the suspension of classes in their respective locations. However, the department’s order noted, ‘The period of class suspension does not exceed two (2) weeks in order to avoid a prolonged disruption in the current school calendar.’

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