Students group says CHED 'deaf' to education woes

Published May 27, 2021, 2:16 PM

by Gabriela Baron

A students group on Thursday, May 27, has accused the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) of being “deaf” to education woes after it defended its flexible learning policy for the tertiary level.

Personnel of San Juan National High School clean and disinfect a classroom in line with San Juan City government’s measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (PNA file photo)

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, May 26, CHED Chairman Popoy De Vera maintained that flexible learning is still a “better way to go.”

He added that those who insist on face-to-face classes “are blind to the innovations” for continued learning being practiced by higher educational institutions.

READ MORE: No face-to-face classes deny students’ access to quality education? Wrong! – CHED

However, National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) President Jandeil Roperos said those advocating for the gradual and safe resumption of face-to-face classes have been regularly conducting consultations with students all over the country.

“With all due respect Chairman Popoy De Vera, we are not blind, you have been deaf,” Roperos said.

“We challenge you to conduct consultations with education stakeholders and learn to hear their agony brought by flexible learning, or at least read your comment section,” she added.

Roperos said De Vera did not answer the question on the lack of gadgets and internet allowance and the delayed distribution of modules, but instead “dismissed the actual, factual, and on-ground experiences of the students.”

“The one risking the well-being of students, faculty, and staff is Duterte’s CHED for its slugging pandemic and education response. What we clearly demand is a gradual and safe resumption of classes.”

NUSP urged CHED to ensure the successful implementation of minimum health requirements for medical and health allied courses, students with laboratory classes, and courses that require physical and practical learning that have been approved to conduct limited face-to-face classes.

It also asked the agency to conduct risk assessments and allow low-risk areas or rural areas to resume limited face-to-face classes and provide the needs for safe resumption of classes.

“We can’t afford a blanket policy on flexible learning. It does not apply to all, since many students don’t have the capacity to meet the requirements of flexible learning. We need CHED to be proactively campaigning and finding solutions for the safe resumption of classes,” Roperos asserted.