Student suicides ‘not necessarily due to long-distance learning’

THE Department of Education (DepEd) 7 has asked the public not to immediately attribute suicides of learners to difficulty in adapting to long-distance learning amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Salustiano Jimenez, DepEd 7 director, said they have already asked for incident reports from the police regarding the suicide cases involving three learners in the town of Alcoy and Toledo City, both in southern Cebu, and in Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental.

He said the respective schools division offices and school heads are also conducting their own investigation of the incidents.

He said there are a lot of factors to consider and it is not fair to hastily blame learning modules and the current learning setup for causing these unfortunate incidents.

Jimenez said they already briefed teachers that during this time, students must learn at their own pace. Students do not necessarily have to be pressured in answering worksheets and finishing these before periodical exams since there are no periodical exams this school year, he said.

He said the number of activities prepared and given through self-learning modules are fewer compared to what students encountered in the past school year when face-to-face classes were the norm.

Meanwhile, Jimenez reiterated his call to parents to be patient in guiding their children in their studies at home.

“Ipasabot pod sa mga ginikanan nga kung wa ka kakuan ana, ayaw lang kaayo kakuan ana kay ato lang ingnon ang maestra nga i-extend to (Parents can also tell their children not to worry if they do not finish the work on time since they can always ask the teacher for an extension),” he said.

He said debriefing and mental health awareness fora and webinars have also been conducted for both DepEd 7 teaching and non-teaching personnel to aid them in coping with work-related stress. (WBS)


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