/ 8 March 2021

A FEDERATION of private schools defended the Department of Education from accusations that it lied when it claimed that 99 percent of students got passing marks in the first quarter of School Year 2020-2021.

“I think DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio is correct and he is not lying when he said that,” Eleazardo Kasilag, president of the Federation of Associations of Private Schools and Administrators, said in a statement.

“That could be true because there was excitement and happiness in the first quarter because everyone was happy using tablets or any gadgets. In fact, I can add, even the parents during this time were jubilant,” Kasilag added.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers said the DepEd’s report that 99 percent of students passed was not factual.

Kasilag said that his school, St. Nicholas in Fairlane Marikina City, had been using tablets since 2012.

“The first quarter was filled with abundant joy and pride among all school stakeholders: the parents, the students, the teachers and it seems we were the envy in the community,” he recalled.

“It was great, it was fun the very first quarter using the gadget; it went beautiful until the 3rd quarter of that 2012. Then, mixed feelings ensued,” he said.

Kasilag urged ACT not to judge distance learning immediately.

“Huwag ninyo namang minamadali, nasa 1st semester pa lang naman tayo. Just as in basketball, they can rally and winning is still possible up to the last two minutes,” he said.

The group questioned the accuracy of DepEd’s data, citing that out of the 25 million enrolled students, the report only included 14.5 million students who passed and 126,674 who got failing marks.

Kasilag however said that San Antonio merely based his report on data sent by schools division officials.

“Plain and simple, the fact that DepEd could not account for the missing 10 million was because they did not even lie. It was how it was reported. It is easy to supply data and connect dots but that is lying,” he said.

“Moreover, should ACT prove him wrong upon the completion of this school year, then, our students finish the race.  Sometimes, it is the journey not much the destination,” Kasilag added.