DepEd NCR says socmed post on students sitting on floor fabricated; reporter stands by story | Inquirer News
Reporter justifies news: I just reported what I witnessed

DepEd NCR says socmed post on students sitting on floor fabricated; reporter stands by story

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 06:47 PM August 23, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education – National Capital Region (DepEd-NCR) has labelled as “malicious and fabricated” a social media post showing students from a public school in Manila sitting on the floor due to a lack of chairs.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer said it is standing by its reporter’s tweet.

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Inquirer reporter Jane Bautista on Monday tweeted photos of Grade 7 students at the Jose Abad Santos High School in Manila City sitting on the floor for their in-person classes “due to the shortage of armchairs.”

The DepEd-NCR said the post was meant to “malign” the teachers and school officials of Jose Abad Santos High School in Manila.

In a statement released  Tuesday, the DepEd said the teacher in the post “deliberately rearranged” the chairs for a group activity.

“The subject teacher showcased in the post uttered that she deliberately rearranged the chairs to suit group activity for orientation and psychosocial support tasks,” DepEd-NCR said.

It added that the post was “not authorized nor consented,” and there was no coordination between the school officials and the reporter  who posted the photos.

It added that the journalist did not go through the process of securing a permit, adding that there was also no proper consent to take photos of the minor students, which it said may “constitute a breach or violations under data privacy law.”

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“Worse, the post is malicious and fabricated purposely to malign the teachers and school officials of Jose Abad Santos High School,” it said.

According to the agency, the school has enough chairs to accommodate the learners, saying it has an average of 51 chairs per classroom.

“The Department of Education ensures a safe and smooth opening of classes. Though not perfect, we are doing our very best to ensure inclusive quality service delivery to our lifelong learners,” DepEd-NCR said.

However,  Bautista said she and the Inquirer stand by her story.

“This was the situation when I arrived at their school. The chairs were not enough when the kids went to their classrooms around 9 a.m. so they were asked to sit on the floor. Note that this was also the case for another section,” Bautista said in a Twitter post.

She also said she was able to talk to the school principal, who then said the lack of chairs was due to miscommunication with the janitors and a lack of initiative from teachers to get extra chairs from their supplies in preparation for an activity for the children.

“I have no intention to malign the school, DepEd or the authorities; I just reported what I witnessed, which is the lack of preparation for the students’ first day in school,” Bautista said.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers  said that some of  teachers at Jose Abad Santos High School  had confirmed that there were classrooms without enough armchairs for students while others had dilapidated chairs.

RELATED STORY: Manila public high school teachers say lack of chairs not ‘fake news’

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TAGS: chairs, Manila, School opening, Social Media, Students
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