GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Education officials in South Cotabato expressed “shock and sadness” on Wednesday over the death by suicide of a Grade 11 learner from Tupi town who reportedly confided of having difficulty catching up with modular learning.
Dr. Ruth Estacio, acting superintendent of the Department of Education (DepEd)-South Cotabato division, described the death of the 16-year-old victim as “tragic” and assured that they were already looking into the matter.
A police report said the victim, a student of Cebuano National High School in Barangay Cebuano in Tupi, was found dead by family members before noon Tuesday inside their old home in Purok Big Spring.
Prior to the incident, the learner reportedly complained to his mother that he could not answer the tasks included in the learning modules, especially in mathematics.
The mother said she personally received the modules for his son, the second of five children, on Oct. 2. She said Danilo expressed difficulty understanding his lessons but advised him to read and understand them so he could provide answers more easily.
The victim instead asked his mother on Monday–the first day of classes, — to just return the modules to their teacher as he was quitting his studies.
“That was the last thing that he said to me. He never confided any other problems but he could have been also depressed with our difficult situation,” Emily said in an interview over radio station Bombo Radyo in Koronadal City on Wednesday.
The mother admitted that it had been hard for their family coping up with the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in recent months after her husband lost his job at an oil palm plantation.
She said her son supported his own schooling in the previous years by working as a part-time laborer in papaya plantations and other farms in the area.
In a statement, Estacio extended sympathy to the family, adding the DepEd-South Cotabato division and school officials are currently coordinating with law enforcement and the student’s family for a speedy and impartial investigation on the matter.
“(We) would like to request everyone to respect the privacy of the family during this difficult and unfortunate time,” she said. Allen Estabillo / PNA – northboundasia.com