MANILA - The Department of Education (DepEd) has transitioned online in response to a month-long class suspension due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
The state education agency has launched an online platform called "DepEd Commons" to help students continue their lessons amid the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.
"DepEd Commons is not complete nor perfect. It still has many limitations: contents are not yet that many, evaluation and ranking have not yet been included, separate channels for teachers, parents, students, and officials have not yet been established - but the times calls for its introduction," the agency said in a statement.
The online platform, which can be accessed by public school teachers to support remote learning, offers online review materials and Open Educational Resources (OERs).
"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," DepEd said.
The agency stressed that online classes are given as an option for those who have access to the internet and equipment such as smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktop computers.
Those who do not have access to these requirements can opt for paper-based homework and are not required to visit internet cafés for health safety, DepEd added.
"We acknowledge the reality of the situation wherein DepEd Commons and its OERs are not accessible to all teachers and learners," it said.
DepEd added: "Many of our schools still do not have connectivity and access to internet. But in this extraordinary situation we find ourselves in, we must walk before we run."
Teachers needing assistance on "DepEd Commons," which was made in response to the United Nations Declaration of 2012 in Paris to give access in harvesting instructional supplementary materials, can reach the DepEd Information and Communications Technology Service-Educational Technology Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Classes and all school activities in all levels in Luzon are suspended from March 15 to April 14 amid the lockdown that aims to restrict the movement of people to stop the COVID-19 outbreak.