School officials grapple with shock, grief over death of boy linked to learning module difficulties
KORONADAL CITY—Education officials here expressed shock and grief over the death of a Grade 11 student in Tupi town, South Cotabato, who committed suicide after days of wrestling with his learning modules which he had difficulty answering.
Dr. Ruth Estacio, South Cotabato assistant schools division superintendent, said the schools division was “shocked and saddened” to learn about the death of Danz Suerte Vistal Jr., 16, a junior high school student of Barangay Cebuano National High School in Tupi.
The boy was found lifeless in his room on Wednesday (Oct. 7).
Danz’ mother, Emily, said in a radio interview that the 16-year old had been studying his learning modules for days and had complained of finding it difficult to answer them.
Emily said that aside from this, the child, who had been working part-time at the farm to help in his expenses, had been saddled by the loss of his father’s job when the COVID-19 pandemic forced many people to stay at home.
Days after trying to understand the modules, the teenager had asked his mother to return the materials to his teachers on Monday, the first day of distance learning and home school program.
“The last time we talked he told me he was quitting studies and asked me to turn over the modules back to the teacher,” his mother, Emily Danz, said.
“I believe he ended his life because of frustration and difficulty finding answers to questions in his modules,” she added. She said she had encouraged her son to work on the modules, telling him that he could make it.
“I think he was also frustrated (that) his father lost his sources of income and could not find a part time job as he used to do before the lockdown,” Emily said.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the boy used to work as harvester on a papaya plantation at the village which earned him some income to help defray his education expenses.
He was so frustrated that he could not find work during the pandemic, his mother said. “He gave up studying and he was very quiet since then,” she added.
Emily was out of the house in the morning of Wednesday and returned to find her eldest son already dead.
Estacio, the acting schools division superintendent, said the schools division and education officials were coordinating with police and the student’s family “for speedy and impartial investigation on the matter.”
She also said that education officials, teachers, students and school heads offered a “moment of silence for our dear Danz” at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
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