The Department of Education (DepEd) is targeting to implement mandatory toothbrush drills for the school year 2024-2025, Vice President Sara Duterte said on Thursday.
In a television interview, Duterte, who is also the concurrent Education secretary, underscored the significance of dental health and spreading awareness among learners.
“We target to roll it out sa field, 2024 or 2025, pero hinahabol namin ‘yung school year 2024-2025 na masali ‘yan, parang mandatory toothbrush drill (but we’re targeting for 2024-2025 to include that, the mandatory toothbrush drill) instead of mandatory officers’ Reserved Officers Training [Corps] (ROTC), dito kasi kami sa (because we’re here in) basic education,” she said.
Duterte said this proposal is part of the holistic program, which aims to mold the character and well-being of the children.
“Isa ‘yan sa gusto naming i-implement, mayroon kaming kini-create na program ngayon na we intend to run corollary doon sa pagpapatakbo ng ROTC sa higher education. Sinasabi namin sa kanila, ituturo namin dito life skills, service, values, dito sa basic education, kasama ‘yung good hygiene, kasama ‘yung toothbrush drills (This is one of the [things] we want to implement, we are creating a program now which we intend to run corollary to the ROTC in Higher Education. We are telling them, what we will teach are life skills, service, values, here in the basic education, including the good hygiene, like toothbrush drills),” she said.
Duterte said dental health is vital, considering the risks that it may pose to kids and adults once neglected.
She said dental protection is a personal advocacy, mentioning what she has learned from her father, former President Rodrigo Duterte.
“The one person that is very particular to teeth is, I don’t know if the world knows this, is President Duterte. Kaya siguro subconsciously, nakuha ko rin ‘yun kay PRD [President Rodrigo Duterte], plus ‘yung exposure ko sa trabaho ko as mayor, na nakakausap ko ‘yung mga dentista, and they always advocate na preventable naman ‘yan (That’s why subconsciously, I got it from PRD, plus the exposure in my job as a mayor, I talked with dentists, and they always advocate that it is preventable),” she added.
Duterte particularly refers to preventable dental issues like tooth decay, infection, and other consequences brought by the lack of awareness of proper cleaning.
“If we just guide our young ones, because they are very malleable… Kasi para lahat ng bata, maganda ang smile (So that all children will have better smiles),” she said.
Part of the dental drills proposed program is the distribution of dental kits with instructional materials for proper dental cleaning, accompanied by information campaigns on the matter.
Currently, VP Sara’s campaign ng pagbaBAGo includes the distribution of toothbrushes with toothbrush guides, which is one of her classic programs during her leadership in Davao City as mayor. (PNA)