CHR concerned over DepEd modules discouraging youth from joining ‘peaceful assemblies’
Aileen Cerrudo • October 19, 2020 • 246
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has expressed concern that a module on Media and Information Literacy allegedly from the Department of Education (DepEd) appears to discourage children from participating in peaceful assemblies.
In a statement, the CHR said that aside from teaching the value of respect for law, it is equally important to develop critical thinking among children especially on issues of national scope.
“We stress that our current freedoms that we enjoy today are fruits of past struggles. Instead of discouraging dissent, it would be better to demand better services and accountability from the government and its officials as part of their duty to respect, protect, and fulfill the rights of all,” the agency said.
The CHR also reiterated the Constitution protects the people’s right to freedom of speech, of expression, the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and petition the government for redress of grievances.
They also encouraged DepEd to improve on the current education system, and also encouraged citizens to continue to report to DepEd errors found in the learning materials for the benefit of our children. AAC
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education has stressed that it will only allow the conduct of face-to-face classes upon the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the government’s policy prohibiting in-person classes will remain amid the coronavirus pandemic, although the department is looking into the possibility of reintroducing face-to-face classes next year.
She said a report to be submitted to the president on the opening of classes and DepEd’s recommendations is being finalized.
“We are preparing a report for the President on our current experience with the opening of classes, at klaro naman na kung magkaroon ng face to face, it will be very limited to areas which are absolutely safe. There will be conditions from the Department of Health; there will also be conditions coming from us. Hindi po lahat-lahat, [hindi] sabay-sabay iyan na mag-face to face, kung payag si President,” Briones said.
“At saka, depende sa approach iyan, kasi iyong number of students, etc. So we are [also] now looking into that,” she added.
The school year opened last October 5 with blended forms of learning through self-learning modules, internet and TV- and radio-based instructions.
The DepEd chief also reiterated its earlier statement that it did not approve any localized and limited face-to-face learning workshops.
“Uulitin ko, definitely not this year at definitely walang mga arrangements right now with kung sinumang mga grupo na magpi-face to face at this time because the President has not made any pronouncement at all. Pero [patuloy kaming] magri-report kami sa kaniya,” Briones said.
Meanwhile, the Education chief also directed a study on reconceptualizing learning spaces post-COVID, which include not just classroom, but homes, community spaces, and virtual space.
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) clarified the events that led to the passing of a learner along with three other “out-of-school” children in Biñan, Laguna.
The agency explained that based on incident reports of the Schools Division Office of Binan and the police, the victims did not drown in an attempt to submit self-learning modules contrary to allegations made by some news items and social media posts.
According to the police report, they went out to deliver clothes to the fisherman father of two of the victims. This was confirmed by the fisherman father himself.
On the day of the incident, the public was informed that schools were closed due to recent typhoons and flooding and thus, retrieval of the learning materials were also suspended.
DepEd has already reached out to the concerned media outlet to rectify or delete the article.
“We also appeal to everyone that we should thoroughly check the information we are reporting to the public,” DepEd’s statement read.
“Regardless, we are encouraging our field offices to continue implementing academic ease measures in the distance learning set up to ensure the safety and well-being of our learners, as well as our teachers and personnel, in these trying times. We must not compromise anyone’s health and safety in our mission to deliver quality education,” it added.
The Central Office is currently coordinating with the SDO of Biñan City for assistance, which will be provided by the field office, in coordination with private partners, as soon as possible.
MANILA, Philippines – Authorities on Tuesday thumbed down calls for academic break following the spate of typhoons that devastated many areas in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Department of Education (DepEd) said they understand the plight of many students but stressed that issuing an academic freeze is unlikely as the law clearly states the school calendar for each year.
“’Yung academic freeze ay baka sa ngayon po, humihingi po kami ng pang-unawa, ay hindi po tutugma sa batas na nabanggit ko. May batas na nagsasabi kailan ang unang araw ng pasukan at ilang araw bawat school year at kailan pupwedeng kanselahan po ito,” Education Undersecretary Tonisito Umali said.
Instead of academic break, Umali said the department has implemented an “academic ease,” where students are given flexible time to submit requirements and activities under the distance learning program.
“Binibigyan na po natin ngayon ng diskresyon ang ating mga guro doon sa panahon na pwedeng gugulin ng mga bata para makumpleto ito. I-extend at piliin na lang yung mga exercises na halimbawa o activity sheets na tatalakayin o ipapagawa,” he said.
CHED, for its part, said decisions on the matter of class suspensions should be left on school authorities who know best the situation in their respective areas.
CHED chairman Prospero De Vera said a unilateral suspension is not a good policy as different schools and families were affected differently by the calamities. Decisions on this matter should also be based on what is actually happening on the ground.
Calls for an “academic freeze” surfaced following consecutive strong storms that hit the country in the previous weeks.
Various groups have raised the challenges posed by the recent disasters on students and teachers amid the implementation of distance learning programs.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the recent calamities did not have much effect on education since the primary mode of instruction is modular or online learning.
He also said that instead of academic break for state universities and colleges, they will only be allowed to extend their school calendars for one to two weeks.
“At ang desisyon ng CHED, hindi po papayagan ang academic break na hinihingi ng ilan. Kundi ang decision po ng en banc ng CHED ay para i-extend po yung mga pamantasan o mga kolehiyo na di po nakapagklase dahil sa bagyo ng one or two weeks para po matapos po ang kanilang semester,” he said.
Several universities have announced week-long class suspensions in light of the impact of typhoons, and the mental burden of students and teachers amid the calamity. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)
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