Rising number of suicide cases of students due to blended learning in the Philippines

The Department of Education washes their hands with regard to the increasing number of suicide cases of students related to the current blended learning system.

Suicide cases of students over blended learning

The student group National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) is criticizing the Department of Education for the lack of action and washing off accountability in the recent suicide cases of students in the country, which are said to be related to difficulties in the current blended learning program. According to NUSP, the DepEd’s statement last Tuesday shows the real interest of the agency, to save face rather than face the issue head-on.

The DepEd was quoted issuing the following statement in relation to the suicide cases of students in the country:

Based on our agency’s investigation and with the help of statements from relatives and families of the diseased, there were no clear line of reference that can attribute these suicide cases of students to the blended learning program. We further ask the public to be more sensitive to the grieving families when it comes to sharing false accusations in social media.

For NUSP, the DepEd is trying to wash off the issue on their end instead of offering solutions on how to lessen the difficulties students are experiencing out of the new blended learning program. For the student union, suicide is a delicate matter that should be dealt with such urgency. The DepEd should acknowledge that there are such difficulties in the blended learning program that might have affected the mental health of students, instead of finding reasons not to incorporate these suicides into the new learning system.

Another youth group in the country, Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK) also shares the same thoughts as NUSP.

It is clear that these incidents are related to the new blended learning program. The lack of proper funding for the distribution of modules, the lack of support in handling module exercises, the poor internet connection, and the poor quality of the inclusions of the blended learning program.

Most of the recent suicide cases of students have been related to modular learning. In addition, a recent accident of two students who were electrocuted while fixing the device that would boost their internet connection, to be used for their online learning classes. Student groups in the country are asking the DepEd to have a clearer resolve to these issues rather than focus on staying away from being held accountable for these circumstances.