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Deped-7 investigation shows: No link between modules, deaths

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - October 21, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) - 7 has denied that the reported deaths of four students in Region 7 had something to do with the problems they encountered with the modules they used for their classes.

DepEd-7 Director Salustiano Jimenez said investigation has found that the suicides were caused by other reasons.

He did not elaborate on the cases to give respect to the victims’ families.

The four incidents happened since the school year for public schools opened on October 5. Two of these are from Cebu – from Toledo City and Alcoy; one from Negros Oriental, from Guihulngan City; and another from Bohol.

Jimenez said they investigated the incidents immediately and did not find any link between the deaths to the challenges the students faced with their learning modules. They also found out that the incident in Bohol involved a college student who was no longer under DepEd.

He said they have already forwarded the result of the investigation to the DepEd central office.

“The Department of Education (DepEd) has reached the knowledge of the trials brought by the current situation we have, including the sad news that teachers and students died in the midst of crisis. The department is deeply grieving and sending condolences to the bereaved and to the loved ones of our DepEd colleagues,” the official statement said.

Jimenez called on the public to be responsible and to stop speculating about the cause of the deaths.

“We want to call it to stop connecting with modules or distance learning. We have already received reports from the authority, statements of families, and initial investigation of cases and none of the incident determines distance learning as their primary cause,” he said.

Instead of trying to discredit DepEd, Jimenez said it would be better if the public refocuses its energy in helping campaign for strengthening of relationships and families in these trying times.

With the challenges basic education students face with modular or distance learning in the new normal, Jimenez said the bigger question to ask is how to prepare students for much demanding tasks ahead in school like when they reach college.

“Kung mao nay mahitabo, unsaon nato sa pag-prepare sa atong mga bata to be strong whenever there are challenges. Samot nag mu-college and mukuha ug kurso nga medicine, law… unsaon na lang pag-agwanta sa mga bata,” Jimenez said.

(If this is what happens, how do we prepare our children to be strong whenever there are challenges, especially in college and they decide to take up courses like medicine, law… how can they sustain?)

“I would also like to appeal to all nga dili ni para sa atoa mga dagko (continuing education), para ni sa mga bata. Kung dili ni sila nato amumahon karon, dili i-prepare karon, basin kita puy magmahay kung wa ma-prepare. Let us prepare our learners as young as they are now especially in the basic education. Magtinabangay lang gyud,” he added.

(I would like to appeal that this is not for us; this is for the children. If we don’t nurture them today, if we don’t prepare them today, we might regret it. Let us prepare our learners while they are young, especially in basic education. Let us help each other.)

Present

Jimenez said teachers and the students’ schools, along with the division and regional offices of DepEd, are there to listen to concerns with regard to teaching modalities and lessons.

He said DepEd is also reaching out to families continuously so it can send immediate assistance and support.

“The Department continues to interact with faculty, staff, and students so that they can be given and distributed the right mental health and psychosocial services,” he said. — JMO (FREEMAN)

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