NUSP slams Briones for ‘insensitive’ advice to typhoon-affected students, teachers
MANILA, Philippines — The National Union of Students in the Philippines (NUSP) blasted Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Wednesday for her “insensitivity” by advising students and teachers affected by Super Typhoon Rolly to just hang up wet modules and iron them out to dry.
In a statement, the NUSP scored Briones for insisting that the production of modules might not be affected by the super typhoon, despite its battering several provinces in Bicol Region and Southern Luzon.
Her statement only proved that the Department of Education lacked materials for distance learning, NUSP President Jandeil Roperos said.
“The department further proved that, even without a storm or any other calamity, it’s not sufficiently prepared to implement distance learning and respond to the challenges that go along with it,” Roperos said in Filipino.
Briones made the remarks in an earlier online briefing by DepEd, days after Rolly made landfall.
“In my opinion, the production of modules will not be affected by the storm that passed because we were already able to produce learning modules for the first quarter,” Briones said in Filipino.
“For example, if modules get wet. I don’t think the [school] superintendent will write: ‘Our modules our wet.’ They will find a solution. Maybe they will put them under the sun. Others will iron them. They will not be ordered through a circular from the central office telling them what to do,” she added.
With these statements, Briones became a trending topic on Twitter with students again bashing her for being insensitive.
This is not the first time the DepEd chief drew the ire of students online.
Previously, many critics badmouthed her for the government’s decision to push through with distance and blended learning modes during the COVID-19 pandemic — despite many students not having adequate gadgets and stable internet connections.
Briones then said that students badmouthing her might be enough reason to resume the interrupted school year in order to teach them well.
Her remarks were a “blatant” act of passing the burden of dealing with damaged modules to teachers, students, and parents, the NUSP said.
“This is just the beginning of the department’s continuous turning away from its responsibilities and playing to student demands for solutions to problems that the education sector faces,” it added.
Even before the current school year began, a lot of groups had been calling for an academic freeze to allow families to focus more on economic recovery and health matters during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But Briones and the government remained firm that classes could be opened as DepEd was ready for it.
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