'Capacity to earn affected': Why DepEd won't implement academic freeze


Posted at Nov 18 2020 09:51 AM | Updated as of Nov 18 2020 10:55 AM

Books are laid out to dry at the Bote Integrated School in Bato, Catanduanes on Nov. 9, 2020. Days after Super Typhoon Rolly hit, teachers and school staff start to clean up the severely damaged school while preparing for Tropical Depression Ulysses which is expected to make landfall on Wednesday. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – The Department of Education on Wednesday rejected anew calls for academic freeze in light of successive storms that struck the country, saying suspension of basic education services would have “massive impact” on the lives of students.

Education Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio, in an interview with ANC, said the agency was instead implementing “academic ease” measures to help students and teachers reeling from the calamities.

“I think the stand of the Department of Education is so clear. We want the youngsters of our generation to be able to learn because we know, world studies are clear, the moment we stopped, I mean the provision of basic education services for our learners, will have massive impact in their lives economically. Their capacity to earn is affected,” he told “Matters of Fact”.

He added, “We can't afford to withdraw the opportunity of our youngsters to be able to learn. We will make this available. We will also continue to make it flexible and we will make adjustments, mindful of the idea that we will enable the child to really learn the most foundational skills, the most essential ones that they will find useful later in their lives.”

San Antonio said thousands of schools in parts of Luzon had already implemented academic break in the wake of disasters such as Super Typhoon Rolly and Typhoon Ulysses.

“There are class suspensions in areas where learnings could not really happen because of the calamity,” he said.

In November, the agency also released a memorandum urging teachers to foster “academic ease” to assist students adapting to the distance learning set-up.

“This was actually triggered by our initial findings, our monitoring that the learners found our lessons quiet burdensome or heavy during the first few week of the school year,” he said. “Of course, this is the case because the learners have been disengaged from the learning activities for about 7 months.

Malacañang earlier dismissed calls of academic freeze, saying the primary mode of instruction in public schools currently makes use of self-learning modules.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) had also allowed universities to extend the semester by one or 2 weeks if they failed to hold classes due to the recent typhoons.

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