/ 11 August 2020

THE DEPARTMENT of Education, Alliance of Concerned Teachers and University of the Philippines College of Education Student Council have expressed dismay over the viral video posted by VinCentiments on Facebook last August 7.

The online movie production firm’s controversial video titled “Online Class” showed the students’ struggles with the new learning approach.

The video, they said,  also disrespected and blamed the teachers for the shift to online classes.

In an open letter addressing VinCentiments director and producers,  the UP Student Council slammed the episode as insensitive and irresponsible.

“The latest episode of VinCentiments entitled ‘Online Class’ is outright irresponsible, insensitive, and infuriating,” said the UP Student Council.

The Student Council added that the video “antagonizes teachers by portraying them as harsh and ignorant to the concerns of students”.

“This is a direct insult to educators whose efforts, for the past months, have been directed towards adjusting syllabi, curricula, modules, and lesson plans in order to ensure the delivery of quality and compassionate education amidst the pandemic,” the Council stressed.

Meanwhile, DepEd Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla said the video failed “to comprehend other parts of the reality, particularly now that we are shifting the learning delivery modality from the usual face to face classes to blended learning”.

However, Sevilla said they will not stop people from expressing their thoughts as it is part of their freedom of speech.

“We will not censor those who have the need to express something. But we should be able to discern what is real and what is best for us to continue our mandate, and that is to provide quality, accessible, relevant and liberating education,” she stressed.

ACT on its post argued that putting teachers in a bad light should  not be tolerated.

“The video, while it exposed the many problems of online learning and expressed the frustrations of our youth over the modality, was done in bad taste—peppered with expletives and put teachers in bad light. Mga anak, huwag natin gayahin ang Pangulo sa kanyang pagmumura, kabastusan at pagpapalabas na karaniwang tao ang kalaban,” ACT said.

ACT also pointed out that  the problem lies not with the teachers but with the government’s failure to provide support to mentors for the coming school year.

“Ang kawalang-tugon ng Pangulo sa matinding pangangailangan ng sistema ng edukasyon sa gitna ng tumitinding krisis. Ang mga ito ang nagpapahirap at nagpapahamak sa ating lahat: guro, kawani, estudyante, at pati mga pamilya natin,” the group said.

In line with their grievances, the DepEd and ACT asked the government to respect, support and appreciate the efforts of the teachers especially in these trying times.

The UP College of Education Student Council urged the directors to take down the said video and the DepEd to take the necessary steps  to protect teachers from further public humiliation.

“Instead of putting all the blame on our teachers, our efforts must be directed against this oppressive administration and in strengthening our fight towards quality, accessible, and relevant education!, ” the open letter concluded.

VinCentiments on its post said the video was a collection of  the students’ rants.

The video has received thousands of criticisms from teachers and students and has earned a million views on Facebook.