DepEd: No significant dropouts due to distance learning

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 26) — The Department of Education has not received reports that indicated a significant number of students dropping out from school due to struggles caused by distance learning.

In a briefing on Tuesday, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said they have been validating the alleged massive dropouts due to the challenges brought by distance learning. Regional offices were also asked to submit reports, but there is still no solid conclusion proving that such has occurred.

"Hanggang ngayon vine-verify namin kung san nanggaling iyong balita na maraming nagdrop out sa ating programa. Wala pa kamig basehan na makaka-conclude na mayroong massive dropouts," she said. "Nagi-intay kami ng numero sa nagsabi noon, wala naman kaming naririnig na numero."

[Translation: We are still verifying where this news came from that many dropped out from the program. We still have no basis to conclude that there are massive dropouts. We are waiting for data but have not received numbers.]

Briones noted there are a number of students who slowly return to school, especially after holiday breaks like Christmas and summer vacations, but she did not mention figures.

"I don't think it is directly related to iyong sinasabi nilang mga programa ng Department of Education. Hindi naman unusual iyan," she said.

[Translation: I don't think it's directly related to the program of the Department of Education. This is not unusual.]

For the present school year, the department implemented online learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 22 million public school enrollees.

As students face difficulties in adjusting to the new setup, the agency dismissed calls for an "academic freeze," calling it a "shortsighted solution."

Briones said they have instead implemented "academic ease" to ease up on the number of assignments that students receive given the new arrangement.