Stop assuming suicides were caused by distance learning and modules, says Education Dep’t

Educators preparing learning modules at a public school. Photo: Department of Education/FB
Educators preparing learning modules at a public school. Photo: Department of Education/FB

Filipinos should stop assuming that distance and modular learning were what led some teachers and students to commit suicides, the Department of Education said in a statement today.

The department said that it had received reports that some teachers and students have killed themselves and that it is in touch with the families of those who have passed to give them help and support.

It asked the public to “respect the private lives of the bereaved families” and urged them to cease giving their opinions on why the victims have died.

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“Suicide is a sensitive and complicated issue. That’s why we are asking [the public] to stop connecting it to module or distance learning. We have received reports from the authorities and statements from families and initial investigations have shown that none of these incidents are caused by distance learning,” the statement said in English and Filipino.

“We are also warning the public about groups or individuals who use such incidents to tarnish the Department’s hard work,” it added.

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The Education Department said that it is coordinating with teachers, students, and officials so that it could provide them with adequate “psychosocial” support.

Earlier this month, a Grade 11 student committed suicide in Tupi town in South Cotabato reportedly because of the difficulties the teenager faced in answering his learning modules. However, the Department of Education belied these reports and said that the teenager “never mentioned that he has a problem on module matters.”

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the postponement of face-to-face classes until a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available. The Department of Education has implemented blended learning — or the use of various media to educate children — as an alternative, but the method has posed numerous challenges for teachers and low-income students who cannot afford to buy electronic gadgets.


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