June 18, 2020 – We have received an incident report of a suicide of a learner from Sto. Domingo, Albay on June 17.

We extend sincerest condolences to the bereaved family and we offer our prayers for his eternal repose.

Suicide cases are sensitive and complex matters. It takes professional skill and competence in analyzing human behavior to determine what makes a young person commit suicide. We have gathered preliminary information but will not disclose any out of respect for the family’s privacy.

However, we denounce those who concoct opportunistic and insensitive half-truth statements about the learner’s demise to forward their agenda of demonizing the Department’s commitment to provide learning opportunities amidst the pandemic. Their hasty and generalized statement is irresponsible and misleading for it tarnishes the memory of the dead and insults the family, while misinforming the public of the set-up of the upcoming school year.

Given that face-to-face classes are not allowed, DepEd is pursuing various distance learning delivery modalities. Online learning is only one of these. We are preparing printed modules for those without internet connectivity or gadgets at home. We will also complement these with educational television programs and radio-based instruction.

We are reiterating to our parents and learners that they are not required to buy any gadgets, or connect to the internet, to participate in the learning programs for the incoming school year. Again, online learning is only one option among many modes. Those who insist on framing learning continuity in the context only of online learning are not adequately informed, and are misleading the public in the process.

Currently, preparations are underway to implement home-based learning through any or a blending of TV, radio, online, and printed modules. These modes will be offered accordingly depending on the capacity of our learners’ households. We are tapping private partners and local government units to assist us in this challenging implementation of School Year 2020-2021, so that more learners can still continue their education despite the crisis

We are not blind to the reality that not every learner has the same resources. We are continuously setting up policies, plans, and processes that are inclusive and responsive to the realities to ensure no learner will be left behind during this crisis and beyond.

The Department is doing its best to make education available and thriving amidst the public health situation and we appeal to everyone to help us echo this message of hope, and not fall prey to contrived fear and rage.