The Department of Education on Wednesday dismissed calls for an “academic freeze,” saying it offered a “short-sighted” solution.

The hashtag #AcademicFreezeNOW has been trending on Twitter the past months. 

Students have demanded that the opening of the school year be moved due to the challenges in accessing education through online and modular methods. 

Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan claimed that an “academic freeze” would disregard the choice of 24.3 million students to enroll.

“We believe that this call for an ‘academic freeze’ is a populist position that is not popular, because we already have the support of as many as 24 million learners and their parents who have enrolled and are ready to participate in distance learning,” Malaluan said.

Malaluan added that an “academic freeze” would interrupt students’ learning process and inflict long-term learning challenges.

“This position is also a short-sighted position. It does not take into consideration the trade-off of prolonged interruption in the learning process of the children and also does not take into consideration the adjustments that need to be made in the succeeding school years,” he said.

Distance learning methods will be used in the coming school year, utilizing radio, television, the internet and printed modules. 

President Rodrigo Duterte gave the order to suspend face-to-face classes until a Covid-19 vaccine became available.

As of Sept. 9, 24.3 million students have enrolled in public and private schools nationwide. John Ezekiel J. Hirro