/ 15 September 2021

A COALITION of students disputed the declaration of the Department of Education that the school opening amid the pandemic was a success,saying that “education in the country is in crisis.”

The Student Council Alliance of the Philippines said that perseverance alone “will not solve the perennial problems” in the education sector.

“We no longer want the youth to suffer. Therefore we, the Filipino students, call upon the Duterte administration to declare an education crisis and address the utter disregard for students’ needs,” the SCAP said in a statement.

The coalition stressed that the government has yet to present a comprehensive plan to address the “ineffectiveness of distance learning” after almost two years of fighting the Covid19 pandemic.

“This has since widened the already alarming socio-economic divide, degraded mental health, and systematically neglected student welfare – putting the Filipino youth’s and the nation’s future at stake,” it said.

Citing reports that 4.4 million students have dropped out of school and about 90 percent of students learn less in the remote learning setup, SCAP urged the government to address “the woes haunting the country’s education system.”

It also called for the gradual and safe reopening of schools; accessible mental health services for students, teachers, and staff; a higher budget allocation in the education sector; and the immediate passage of students’ rights and welfare bill.

“Higit na magpapatuloy ang malawak na hanay ng estudyante’t kabataan sa pagtindig para sa isang makatarungan at patas na lipunan. Umaasa kaming papakinggan at aaksiyunan ng mga nasa posisyon ang aming mga mungkahi,” the alliance said.

“Kung kaya ngayon, higit kailanman, marapat lamang na dinggin ng estado ang panawagan ng malawak na lipon ng mga estudyante na magdeklara ng education crisis at mag-roll out ng emergency plan para sa 4-point education agenda,” it added.