PLDT-owned operator Smart Communications has announced that its subscribers now have free access to DepEd Commons, the online education delivery platform of the Department of Education.
This is in response to the call of DepEd secretary Leonor Briones who sought support from the telcos in providing free access to DepEd Commons, which is designed as an alternative mode for teaching-learning process during class suspensions and other similar circumstances.
“In this time of crisis, it is important that we make it possible to overcome this challenge with solid partnerships with the private sector. We are thankful on our partners’ generosity in support of the continuity of public education by providing us free data for DepEd Commons access amid the Covid-19 situation,” Briones said.
The free access to students and teachers using Smart gives them access to a multitude of educational resources for use in various grade levels of curriculum.
“DepEd Commons was designed as a direct solution to give access to online review materials and Open Educational Resources (OERs) during class suspensions and other similar circumstances. OERs in DepEd Commons are authored by public school teachers who are subject experts, properly cited and acknowledged. Teachers can retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute the content by blending it with a learning management system to deliver a distance learning modality,” said DepEd undersecretary for administration Alain del Pascua.
“We are facing many challenges in ensuring the continuity of education especially in this extremely difficult situation that we are in. In partnership with PLDT and Smart, DepEd is steadily moving forward in bringing educational resources to the teachers and the learners wherever they may be,” Pascua said.
“With digital learning becoming more mainstream given the Covid-19 pandemic, online teaching has come to the fore, changing the local educational climate and norms of teaching forever,” said PLDT CRO and Smart president Al Panlilio.
“Through this whitelisting, concerned parties with Smart subscriptions may continue to log on to the DepEd Commons platform through a device without load credits.”
To reach out to teachers and students who are unable to go online, Smart will also provide 10 units of the School-in-a-Bag, a portable digital laboratory designed to facilitate continuous learning in times of emergencies and disasters.
Smart and its mother company PLDT has also provided a package to DepEd that includes 10 mother tongue-based literacy apps that can be downloaded for free from Google Play under #LearnSmart. These interactive apps help develop literacy, numeracy, and higher-order thinking skills among children from Kinder to Grade 3.
PLDT has also extended its services to include free access to #CyberSmart resources that equip teachers with knowledge on cybersecurity and safety, data privacy and protection, and combating fake news.