DepEd looks into online-based education for next school year

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 24) — Education officials are looking into using online platforms for the coming school year as a contingency plan for millions of students if the current COVID-19 crisis drags on.

“The Information and Communication Technology-based adjustments will have to be made as a major feature for teaching and learning,” Department of Education Undersecretary Nepomoceno Malaluan told reporters in virtual press conference on Monday.

Some teachers are worried about the challenges of this kind of set up. Chary Patron, a public school teacher in Quezon City, said not all pupils have access to gadgets needed for online learning. She also pointed out not all parents can support learning at home.

“May mga ilang magulang din tayo na hirap makabasa at maunawaan ang mga lessons. Kaya may need pa rin to meet students for face-to-face follow-up,” Patron told CNN Phillippines.

Leonila Linchangco, also a public school teacher, shares the same concern.

“Parang diyan may problema ng konti. 'Yung ibang parents supportive sa mga needs ng mga bata. 'Yung iba hindi masyado,” she said.

Officials recognize the limitations of online based education. But they said they need to at least try to make it work.

The DepEd launched “DepEd Commons," an online platform that can now be accessed by public school teachers to support remote learning.

It allows students to continue with their lessons while staying at home by providing online review materials and other educational resources.

“In this extraordinary situation we find ourselves in, we must walk before we run. We must start somewhere and work our way towards the ideal where all teachers and learners in the country can access such resources,” DepEd Undersecretary Alain Pascua said.

As of Monday, he said there are almost 450,000 unique users of DepEd Commons.

While DepEd looks into these contingencies, they said they still are preparing for opening of classes in June.