Farmers dispute DepEd claim on ‘victory’ over COVID-19 as schools reopen

Published October 5, 2020, 3:26 PM

by Raymund Antonio

A farmers’ group is not buying the pronouncement of Education Secretary Leonor Briones who claimed “victory” over the coronavirus pandemic as over 24 million students returned to school on Monday.


Briones officially declared the opening of classes for the new school year under the blended and distance learning system.

Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) chair Danilo Ramos said several students and their parents in rural areas found themselves in a “quandary” over the implementation of distance learning during the first day of classes.

“The real battle of 24 million students to learn and survive the school year starts today,” he said in response to Briones’ address to teachers and students at the Department of Education’s school opening program.

“It’s too early for DepEd to claim victory over the pandemic,” Ramos stressed.

The start of classes, originally scheduled in June every year, has been delayed twice to give schools more time to prepare for distance learning.

Under this new system, lessons are delivered outside the traditional face-to-face classes through a mix of modular and online learning.

The group asserted the actual condition and experience of rural-based school learners will “best gauge DepEd’s capabilities and performance.”

KMP noted while the country’s public school system has resumed its classes, many students, parents, and teachers are still not ready and ill-equipped for distance learning.

”Those who enrolled for this school year will have to hurdle daily challenges. Under this situation, rural-based learners are at a great disadvantage and among the most marginalized,” Ramos said, referring to the children of farmers and fisherfolk.