/ 17 November 2020

THE KABATAAN Partylist in Laguna and the Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan have pressed their demand for a national academic break to give students, faculty and school personnel time to breathe, especially those hit by calamities.

“Despite all assurances from the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education, it is painfully clear that the current semester is an objective failure,” the Kabataan Partylist said in a statement.

It added that millions of students “have been made to suffer a semester that has taught nothing and has served only the interests of school administrators and business owners.”

The group cited the government’s lackluster response in addressing the Covid19 pandemic, its repeated failure in providing safe, quality, and accessible education, and the ‘bungled’ response to the recent typhoons.

“Bukod sa mga kalamidad, mataas pa rin ang kaso ng Covid19 sa bansa dahil sa kawalan ng aksyon ng gobyerno,” said Justin Umali, KPL Laguna chairperson.

“Sunod-sunod ang bagyo, ngunit ‘tulog’ pa rin ang gobyerno. Habang nahihirapan ang mga estudyante, guro, magulang, at lahat dahil sa kapalpakan ni Education Secretary Leonor Briones at CHED Chairman Prospero de Vera!”

He pointed out that the failure of the government to respond to the crisis worsened educational inequality.

“Hanggang ngayon, problema pa rin ang internet connection at gadgets,” he said.

Umali pointed to initiatives by students to strike as “manifestations of their anger.”

“Hindi mo masisisi ang mga estudyante na kunin ang inisyatibo at manawagan para sa karapatan nila,” he said. “At hangga’t hindi nagpapakita ang gobyerno ng sinseridad at maayos na solusyon, magpapatuloy ang makatarungang pagtutol ng mga estudyante sa mga bulok na sistema.”

Meanwhile, SPARK demanded for an academic break “that covers all Filipino students.”

“For the sake of lessening the suffering of ordinary people and youth, let them breathe. This government has taken away, with its indifference and inaction, so much from us,” the group said in a Facebook post.

The group said that students cannot have their distance learning in evacuation centers.

“The studentry and their families need time and resources to recover from these crises and this can only begin with an immediate and effective break from all classes, in all levels, nationwide,” it added.