By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
More and more teachers, parents and learners are expressing support to the newly-introduced online learning platform of the Department of Education (DepEd).
With the entire Luzon and other parts of the country remaining under the enhanced community quarantine due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, the DepEd has launched the “DepEd Commons” which is an online platform for public school teachers to support distance learning modalities.
DepEd said that since the inception of DepEd Commons last March 17, a total of 151,749 teachers have already joined the said online platform. It has steadily gained support from teachers and parents.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that the DepEd Commons is a “step towards” being able to offer continuity of education to Filipino learners despite disruptions of classes. “Education must continue even in times of crisis whether it may be a calamity, disaster, emergency, quarantine, or even war,” she said.
DepEd Commons was launched under the initiatives of the Office of the Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua. Briones said that “we appreciate the efforts” of Information and Communications Technology Service and Pascua “for making this platform available in these trying times.”
Earlier, Pascua said that the “DepEd Commons” was designed “precisely to continue the delivery of basic education to our children.” However, he noted that the said platform has many limitations and is still being improved, while underscoring that the use of it is not yet required.
“We acknowledge the reality of a situation wherein DepEd Commons and its Open Education Resources (OER) are not accessible to all teachers and learners. Given that not everyone has access to a stable internet connection, online learning platforms are only given as an option for those who have access to such medium,” he said.
Despite this, Pascua said that “we must start somewhere and work our way towards the ideal where all teachers and learners in the country can access such resources.” He added that until that time, “we offer DepEd Commons and OERs to those who can make use of them, as we continue to work for the connectivity of all our schools and offices.”
Less than a week after it was launched, DepEd Commons are being used by teachers and learners. With the guidance from parents, learners are also able to access the online platform.
“As a teacher po nila, I can say na napakalaking tulong po sa mga bata nito lalo na po na nakahome quarantine [As their teacher, I can say that this is really a big help for the children especially now that they are on home quarantine],” said Alleluia Romero, a teacher of Indang Central Elementary School in Cavite.
Meanwhile, parent Jasmin Papa said that the DepEd Commons is a big help for learners during this time. “Sobrang helpful po ang DepEd Commons sa mga bata especially now na sa gadgets na po nakatutok ang mga bata lalo walang pasok [This is very helpful now that the children are focused on gadgets with classes suspended],” she explained.
Papa explained that through DepEd Commons, children have options that would enable them to advance once they completed their respective learning levels.
“They are very happy with it especially when they see that their answers are correct and it is also a good thing that use their gadgets not only for games but also for learning,” she said in Pilipino.