Briones silent on demo challenge by Representative France Castro

The demo challenge, thrown by Representative Castro to DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones, still left unanswered.

Demo Challenged ignored

Earlier last week, ACT-Teachers Representative France Castro issued a demo challenge to Education Secretary Leonor Briones. The challenge was for Briones to personally try the guidelines on distance learning in far-flung and poor areas of the country.

The reason behind the challenge is for Briones to have on the ground experience regarding the mandates her agency is imposing, especially for students coming from poor families and secluded areas in the provinces.

France Castro is the representative for the ACT-Teachers Party List inside the Philippine Congress. Last week, Castro called out Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones to demonstrate the mechanics of distance learning in areas such as slums in the metro and as well as distant barangays in provinces. The areas Castro mentioned are those with unfortunate circumstances that will be most affected by the inaccessibility to distance learning materials such as the internet and mobile devices.

Lack of infrastructures

In Social Media, several pictures are surfacing where students and teachers are walking several kilometers just to get a signal for their mobile internet connection to work. Even memes of children climbing trees just to get and internet signal is surfacing to mock the concepts of distance learning in the countries technological context.

According to tech expert Wilson Chua, the Philippines is way behind in infrastructures that can support an efficient and effective system ran by the internet.

Only a small percentage of rural areas have cell towers located within their vicinity. With this info, it just shows how technologically impossible it is for these areas to have stable access to the distance learning features which are only accessible through the internet.

This goes back to the demo challenge question, what other modalities do the Department of Education has prepared for students who cannot access the distance learning materials through the internet. DepEd Secretary Briones should be able to provide certain answers for this type of question, in order to encourage parents that enrolling their children for the classes this August is the right thing to do.