According to youth group League of Filipino Students (LFS), about 6.7 million students will be left unenrolled this academic year as the Department of Education (DepEd) pushes for the resumption of classes this October 5.
Prior to the immediate press release of LFS, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones announced that classes for school year 2020-2021 will be postponed from August 24 to October 5, 2020, assuring that “all materials needed for school opening will be ready by that time.”
The LFS online statement noted how DepEd’s multiple attempts of allotting time for “smooth preparations” and “a successful virtual opening” had failed in catering to millions of students in the provinces and the countryside who are in need of reliable internet connection and digital devices.
“Their [DepEd’s] target is at a bare minimum as they rejoice that 76% of students have enrolled for this academic year, as if to neglect the rest who are unenrolled, which totals to about 6.7 million students,” LFS said.
LFS Deputy Spokesperson Carwyn Candila emphasized how resolving the lapses in the education system in light of COVID-19 requires providing scientific solutions and listening to the demands of various sectors in our society.
“We demand that Duterte’s regime finally heed to our call for a scientific solution on COVID-19, so that classes may resume in the earliest possible time, unbound by these uncountable delays by an already problematic education system that is plaguing our nation for the longest time,” she explained.
Candila stressed on how the current actions of DepEd only exposes their unpreparedness to resume classes, as little to no progress has been made to address the concerns of students lacking the resources to proceed with virtual learning and online classes.
“This incompetency puts the education of many Fiipino students at risk! Hindi buong-buo maibibigay ng virtual learning ang kalidad ng edukasyon na nararapat para sa maraming kabataang Pilipino. Hindi tayo papayag patuloy tayong pag-eksperimentuhan ng DepEd at ni Duterte sa gitna ng pandemya,” she said.
Part of these proposed solutions of DepEd in tackling the smooth transition from traditional learning to distance learning include their test broadcasts of ‘educational’ TV shows and learning portal “DepEd Commons”.
LFS stated that if these lapses in the current education system continue to worsen, millions of students will be at risk of losing the right to education, while thousands of faculty and staff constituents will be left jobless.
Their statement demanded that DepEd and Duterte implement mass-oriented and effective testing, tracing, and treatment of Covid-19 to pave the way for resumption of physical classes. [P]
Photo from Philippine News Agency