Monday, May 27, 2024

DepEd bares technology-based plans for education’s ‘new normal’

Department of Education (DepEd) undersecretary for administration Alain Del B. Pascua said the agency is harnessing different technology-based projects as part of education’s new normal.

Photo shows (from left) Microsoft vice president for worldwide education Anthony Salcito, DepEd secretary Alain Pascua, and Nanyang Tecchnological University CIO Alvin Ong (Photo from DepEd)

Speaking during the first Asia Pacific Public Sector Digital Summit, Pascua underscored the government’s initiatives to ensure learning continuity amid the pandemic, including DepEd TV, DepEd Commons, and DepEd Radio.

“If there are no face-to-face classes, then we have to devise all means to reach out to our learners and to bring basic education to them. We have to educate, by all means, we have to teach by all means, and our learners have to learn by all means,” Pascua said.

“We need to master distance learning now, making all the necessary improvements and perfecting our processes for the DepEd Commons, DepEd TV, DepEd Radio, the DepEd Learning Management System, the DepEd Mobile App, and others,” he added.

In addition, Pascua stressed the importance of the Public Education Network (PEN), which will fast-track the digital connectivity of all public schools and DepEd offices nationwide.

“With this network, schools will become connectivity hubs for all the households around it so that contents are made available to every learner in the community even without internet bandwidth. If this connectivity is reinforced by internet bandwith availability, then it is a big leap forward,” he said.

Pascua also hinted at a future DepEd project, which aims to update and pattern DepEd TV after streaming services to allow learners to study their learning materials at their own pace.

“Those who need more time and repetition can easily review and go back to all the lessons, while those who learn in a faster pace can access new lessons and other lessons outside of their grade levels,” Pascua pointed out.

Meanwhile, in terms of re-imagining education in the new normal, Pascua shared that he advocates for the continuation of online and broadcast learning platforms post-pandemic since classroom shortage remains an issue in the country.

“With that kind of interface, our education curriculum can adapt to the needs of the entire nation and even the world. Then, our basic education becomes relevant and liberating for it serves what our nation needs and what our world needs,” Pascua explained.

Meanwhile, the agency also announced the addition of the Globe eLibrary in the DepEd Commons to expand its available English subject materials.

Globe e-Library’s materials will be available on the DepEd Commons, the agency’s open educational resources (OER) platform to support the distance learning implementation.

The e-Library provides a repository of English classic titles, age-appropriate storybooks, e-Learning videos, and other resource materials that can be viewed online or downloaded for later use since students do not have access to traditional libraries at the moment.

“We want to promote the love of reading among the youth so they may achieve their full potential. Reading helps strengthen the brain and build vocabulary, and provides the needed mental exercise for a better understanding of the written word, especially a widely-used foreign language like English,” Globe chief sustainability officer and SVP for corporate communications Yoly Crisanto said.

DepEd Commons currently serves more than 10.5 million unique users nationwide with 4,762 uploaded learning resources. The access to the platform is free of data charge, even if users have no load.

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