Youth groups criticized the Department of Education (DepEd) for supposedly washing its hands off the reported cases of suicides and teachers following the shift to distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The criticism comes after the DepEd urged the public to stop linking the suicide cases to modules and distance learning. It said an initial investigation of the cases showed that “none of them referred to distance learning as the primary cause.
The DepEd’s remarks did not sit well with the Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK) and the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP).
“They knew that the country was not ready to make the shift to distance learning,” SPARK spokesperson for Basic Education Justin Dizon said.
“They knew that there was insufficient funding, that poor internet connection was outside their control, and that the modules weren’t ready, that quality education could not be ensured under their new modalities, that both teachers and students will be subjected to mental stress and yet they insisted on resuming classes,” Dizon added.
The groups claimed that Deped was trying to cover the “ugly truth that they are out of touch with reality.”
The NUSP meanwhile said DepEd has “proven itself once again that they do not only act deaf to the outcries of the students and teachers.”
Suicide cases, according to group “could have been prevented” had DepEd heeded the call of students, the NUSP said.
Prior to the opening of classes, many groups have spoken out over the ill-preparedness of the Philippines for distance learning.
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