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Long online class hours may not be good on learners’ health: DOH

MANILA – Holding online classes up to eight hours may not be good for the health of young learners, a health official said Monday.

Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire made this statement after plan of the Department of Education to extend the online classes up to eight hours in a day to complete the required number of school days mandated by law.

“Ang mga 5 years old below, nakalagay doon sa pag-aaral, hindi sukat ang (Kids 5 years old and below, studies say, they’re not fit for) 8 hours online learning,” Vergeire said.

Young learners, she added, must have other physical activity apart from their online classes.

“Hindi pwedeng nakaupo sila sa tapat ng computer for eight hours and kailangan valid ‘yung activities na ibinibigay gaya ng (They cannot sit in front of the computer for eight hours and the activities given them must be valid like) story-telling,” she said.

She said older learners may endure long online class hours but they must stand from time to time.

“May break time para hindi strained ang eyes, hindi strained ang back, so they can exercise their bodies para hindi prolonged sitting din (There should be a break time to avoid strained eyes, strained back, so they can exercise their bodies and there’s no prolonged sitting as well),” Vergeire said.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier approved the recommendation of the DepEd to reset the opening of classes to Oct. 5 from Aug. 24.

The postponement, according to DepEd, covers both public and private elementary and high schools, except those that are affiliated or attached to colleges and universities.

DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones, however, reiterated that no face-to-face classes would be allowed due to the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

She said classes will not be limited to online session since DepEd has adopted a policy of blended learning where various modalities are being recommended, depending on the situation at the level of the region and the school. Ma. Teresa Montemayor / PNA –

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