Posted on May 24th, 2009
The start of classes on June 1 will definitely push through, and the Department of Education (DepEd) will not suspend nor move it to a later date even with the first confirmed case of Influenza A(H1N1) in the country. Education Secretary Jesli Lapus has received assurance from Health Secretary Francisco Duque III that there is no need for the DepEd to postpone the opening of classes.
For their part, Lapus said that their department is preparing a massive information drive on A(H1N1). Public school teachers and officials have been ordered to review the Department of Health (DOH) advisory on A(H1N1) and relay the information to their students, as well as to the parents. â€œWe want teachers to educate the students as well as their parents on Influenza A(H1N1),â€ Lapus said.
The World Health Organization (WHO), on the other hand, has noted that Influenza A(H1N1) seems to affect young people, but did not make it clear whether the effect were because of the nature of the virus, or because there is a bigger possibility of it to be passed around among students in the close confines of schools.
Some countries have suspended classes because of the outbreak. Japan, which saw a surge in its cases o A(H1N1) infection, have cancelled classes in hundreds of schools all over the country.
However, as far as the Philippines is concerned, the health department said that there was no sign of widespread outbreak in the country, and therefore, there is no need to suspend the opening of classes on June 1.
According to WHO officials, the Philippines hadÂ â€œquite a good surveillance system,â€ which prevents the entry and spread of the disease here.Â Soe Nyunt-U, WHO regional representative however said, â€œthere is no guarantee that this will be the last caseâ€ of A(H1N1) in the country, as he cited the large number of people who are travelling from North America to the Philippines.