DepEd ramps up online education platform ahead of new school year
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) is in the process of upgrading DepEd Commons, its online education platform, to double its capacity in preparation for the upcoming school year.
DepEd Commons is one of the delivery methods of the government’s distance learning program where students can access online classes as face-to-face classes are still prohibited amid the coronavirus pandemic. Other alternative learning methods include printed modules, and TV and radio-based instruction. (READ: FAST FACTS: DepEd’s distance learning)
During the Handang Isip, Handa Bukas virtual briefing on Wednesday, July 1, DepEd Undersecretary Alain del Pascua said the agency is in the process of testing the platform to accommodate more users by the opening of classes on August 24.
“We have about 8.4 million unique users in DepEd Commons at this time. We would want to reach out all of the 17 million, or even more than the 17 million learners that we have including the teachers,” Pascua said.
He expressed confidence that DepEd Commons is stable enough to sustain multiple users simultaneously logging into the platform.
“When we started last March 17, which was while the fourth grading period was ongoing during the pandemic, the DepEd Commons didn’t crash. This means that the platform is stable. Even when we used what we call the ‘learning management system’ for the webinars wherein there were more than 45,000 participants, the DepEd Commons remained stable and didn’t encounter any problems,” Pascua said.
Collaboration with DICT
DepEd Commons is one of the fruits of the partnership between DepEd and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). Access to the education department’s online learning platform is free of data charges for all mobile subscribers of Globe, TM, Smart, Sun, and TNT, thanks to DICT and its attached agency National Telecommunications Commission.
DepEd and the DICT are also collaborating for more projects related to the government’s distance learning program.
In a media release on Thursday, July 2, DepEd said that DICT is assisting in the areas related to broadcast, connectivity, and digital security.
“As we examine the achievements and challenges of DepEd in the current pandemic, especially in schools located within community quarantine areas, DepEd continues to emphasize the unique synergy of our two departments closely working together in the delivery of education via the internet,” DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said.
DepEd is also tapping DICT for assistance in providing physical security infrastructure or activity protocols to protect students, teachers, and staff from security breaches and exposure to harmful online content. (READ: DepEd warns public against illegal selling of learning materials online)
In the long term, DepEd is also eyeing to tap DICT for technical support for the Department’s Last Mile Schools Program through the augmentation of satellite capacity and the establishment of a fiber network connected to schools in remote areas. – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com