Critics slam DepEd’s ‘Name Your Section Challenge’ for being ‘anti-Lumad’

March 5, 2020 - 6:21 PM
Undated photo of a boy taking notes in a community school. (The STAR/Lila Shanani)

The “Name Your Section Challenge” initiated by the Department of Education on social media backfired when a critic brought up the issue of the government agency being against Lumad schools.

DepEd challenged Filipinos’ memory skills when it urged them to recall all of the sections they belonged to in elementary, particularly from Grade 1 to Grade 12.

Kaya mo bang isa-isahin ang mga naging class section mo mula Grade 1 hanggang Grade 12? Patalasan na ng memorya ‘to!” the agency said with a winking emoji.

While the post was welcomed on Facebook, it was not that lauded on local Twitter where critics pointed out issues pertaining to the agency or from their respective schools.

“Can you name all the schools with tuition and other fee increase?” a Twitter user asked.

“How about improving the education system challenge?” another user responded.

“‘Pag nasagot ba namin ‘to tataasan niyo na ang sweldo ng mga guro?” asked another Filipino.

Government versus Lumad schools 

The answer that gained the most traction, however, pertained to the issue of DepEd closing down Lumad schools or learning facilities dedicated to the youth of indigenous communities in Mindanao.

“Can you name all the Lumad schools you closed down?” the Twitter user pointed out.

The tweet already gained around 2,900 likes and more than 300 retweets as of posting. Filipinos supported the clapback with the following replies:

“DepEd we need your answer sksksksksks,” wrote a user.

“LOUDER PLS HAHAHA,” another user said.

“Asking the real questions,” commented another user.

In October last year, DepEd ordered the permanent closure of 54 private Lumad schools in Davao region following reports that some students were being taught to supposedly “dismantle and assemble firearms.”

The schools were operated by Salugpongan Ta’ Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center Inc.

RELATED: Why Lumad schools are valuable to the education of Lumad children

Groups like¬†Save Our Schools (SOS) Network, a children’s rights and welfare organization, protested the move and accused the military and¬†National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. of fabricating such allegations.

SOS Network claimed that DepEd only visited one out of the 54 Lumad schools.

Schools dedicated to Lumads or indigenous communities in Mindanao have been facing constant harassment and red-tagging from the government following accusations of President Rodrigo Duterte that they are communist rebel enablers or members.