The Department of Education and the Department of Health are ensuring the safe return of learners to school after the two agencies together with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) formally launched on Tuesday the national “BIDA Kid COVID-19” prevention campaign to support the safe expansion of face-to-face classes nationwide.
In an online media forum, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the campaign will remind students to wear their masks at all times, isolate when not feeling well, double-up their protection with vaccines, and making sure there’s good airflow in the classrooms.
Over 13,000 public and private schools begin face-to-face classes while over 1 million children aged 5-11 and 9 million adolescents are fully vaccinated.
“We continue to assess the safety of more schools so that we can give our children
the best learning environment that they deserve,” Vergeire said.
Meanwhile, during the launch, of the BIDA Kid national campaign at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall, Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said that one
of their utmost priorities is the safety of learners amid the risk of Covid-19.
“The BIDA Kid campaign is another whole-of-government initiative to encourage everyone to keep our children protected while we progressively reintroduce classroom-based learning,”Briones said,
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and USAID Mission Director Ryan Washburn joined Briones to unveil the official music video and key visual of the campaign, which highlights the 3Bs: Bakuna (Vaccination), Bayanihan (Solidarity), and BIDA behaviors (Bestfriend natin ang masks, Ingatan at hugasan ang kamay, Dumistansya upang makaiwas sa sakit, Airflow ay panatilihin)(Wear masks, observe hand washing and social distancing to avoid getting sick, and maintain room airflow).
For his part, Duque highlighted the importance of the 3Bs. He reminded education stakeholders to continue observing safety measures in schools and at home amid the improving Covid-19 situation in the country.
“A safe school environment is crucial for our children’s development both academically and emotionally. This is only possible if we continue to champion Covid-19 vaccination in our communities and commit to practicing the minimum public health standards everywhere and at all times,” Duque said.
Meanwhile, Washburn said he was grateful for the strong partnership between USAID and the national government, as a whole-of-society approach ensures that physical classes can be conducted safely.
“Face-to-face classes give students better motivation to study, having the opportunity to interact directly with their teachers and classmates. Classrooms offer a supportive environment for learning as well as social and emotional well-being,” Washburn.
He added: “As your friend, partner, and ally, the U.S. government, through USAID, will continue to collaborate with our Philippine government counterparts, so Filipinos are better able to manage the impacts and bounce back quickly from the Covid-19 pandemic.”
As of March 28, around 13,692 public and private schools are conducting in-person classes, according to the latest DepEd field report.
The BIDA Kid campaign, including BIDA kits, the music video, jingle, and key visuals, will be rolled out to all schools and DepEd offices.
Likewise, field offices are encouraged to display and develop localized materials to further amplify the campaign’s messages.