Briones says students' badmouthing of her proves the need to continue classes | Inquirer News

Briones says students’ badmouthing of her proves the need to continue classes

/ 10:00 PM October 09, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Education Secretary Leonor Briones has stressed that the actions of some students displeased with the reopening of classes — badmouthing Department of Education (DepEd) officials including her — prove the need to continue classes despite the health crisis.

Briones relayed in an interview with One News’ The Chiefs on Friday that it was the first time that she was on the receiving end of insults like “p*tang *na” — which ironically is one of President Rodrigo Duterte’s common phrases.

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“May mga statements, may mga mura, sa buong buhay ko, hindi pa ako namura nang P of the I — can you imagine at my age, P of the I kuno ko — and then see you in hell,” the 79-year-old education chief said.

(There are several statements, some are cursing me out, in my whole life I have never experienced being insulted by calling me a ’s*n of b*tch’ — can you imagine at my age they will curse me like that — and also ‘see you in hell.’)

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“Mga ganyang klase na lengwahe, which emphasize the fact that we really need to educate our learners and also the adults,” she added.

(These are the kinds of languages which emphasize the fact that we really need to educate our learners and also the adults.)

This revelation from the DepEd chief came after she emphasized that there has been so much bad publicity about the opening of the school year 2020 to 2021.  However, she also noted that the fact that they prepared for the resumption of classes negates all attempts to besmirch their efforts.

According to her, they have conducted more than 50,000 dry runs to ensure that educators and officials are prepared for the resumption of classes.

While Briones also admitted that the systems in place may not be foolproof, she claimed that resuming classes even before systems are perfected is fine, just like the old Filipino culture of moving into new but unfinished houses.

“It’s like building a house, your house is not yet finished pero usually sa ating kultura, di pa tapos mag-move in ka na para makita mo, and that is exactly what happened.  Nag-dry run kami, nakita namin ‘yong mga difficulties and challenges, and of course, that was given massive publicity months even before we started,” she explained.

(It’s like building a house, your house is not yet finished but usually in our culture, even if you are not done building, you already move in to see it for yourself, and that is exactly what happened.  We had dry runs, we saw the difficulties and challenges, and of course that was given massive publicity months even before we started.)

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“May nagsasabi na ‘hindi kaya ng DepEd, mahina ang DepEd et cetera, di nila ‘yan kaya’, pero siguro nakayanan naman namin dahil alam namin kung ano’ng mangyari,” she assured.

(A lot of naysayers ‘say DepEd cannot do it, DepEd is weak, they cannot do it, but I think we managed to do it because we know better what is happening.)

Briones and DepEd have been drawing flak for insisting on the resumption of classes despite several problems — economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic, lack of gadgets for some students, and intermittent internet connections.

She even drew wider condemnation after she declared that last Monday’s opening of classes is a victory against the coronavirus, although she later clarified that it was meant for those advocating an academic freeze, or total cancelation of the current school year.

Still, student groups criticized her, especially after a student reportedly took his own life after encountering difficulties with learning modules. [ac]

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