DepEd, DOH, USAID launch BIDA Kid program for schools’ safe reopening

Secretaries Francisco Duque III and Leonor Magtolis Briones (third and fourth from left), with USAID Philippines Mission Director Ryan Washburn (third from right), as well as partners from DepEd and the DOH.

THE national BIDA Kid Covid-19 prevention campaign was formally launched on April 5 to support the safe expansion of face-to-face classes nationwide.

The Department of Education (DepEd), the Department of Health (DOH), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) kicked off the BIDA Kid national campaign at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall to encourage learners, teachers, and education stakeholders to keep practicing Covid-19 health and safety guidelines in schools as well as public spaces.

“One of our utmost priorities is the safety of our learners amid the risk of Covid-19,” said Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones. “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.”

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and USAID Philippines 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: Best friend natin ang masks, Ingatan at hugasan ang kamay, Dumistansya upang maka-iwas sa sakit, Airflow ay panatilihin (wear masks, observe hand washing plus social distancing to avoid getting sick, and maintain room airflow).

Duque reminded education stakeholders to continue observing safety measures in schools and at home despite the improving Covid-19 situation in the country.

“A safe school environment is crucial for our children’s development both academically and emotionally,” the health secretary said. “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.”

Washburn was grateful for the strong partnership between USAID and the national government as a whole-of-society approach ensures 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.”

He added: “As your friend, partner and ally, the US government, through USAID, will continue to collaborate with our Philippine…counterparts so [that] Filipinos are better able to manage the impacts and bounce back quickly from the…pandemic.”

As of March 28 around 13,692 public and private schools have resumed in-person classes, according to the latest DepEd field report. The US Embassy said that about 10 million children have been vaccinated against Covid-19 via the “Resbakuna Kids” campaign, as the DOH continues to secure additional vaccine doses for them.

The BIDA Kid campaign, including BIDA kits, the music video, jingle, and key visual will be rolled out to all schools and DepEd offices. Those in the field are urged to display and develop localized materials to further amplify the campaign’s messages.

Image credits: US Embassy


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