PLDT and Smart recently provided the Department of Education (DepEd) with a package of digital services to help support the academic sector offer continuous learning amid the challenges of the nationwide enhanced community quarantine.
Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones spearheaded the call for support from the telcos in providing free access to DepEd Commons (https://commons.deped.gov.ph), the Department’s online education delivery platform designed as an alternative mode for teaching-learning process during class suspensions and other similar circumstances.
“In this time of crisis, it is important that we make it possible to overcome this challenge with solid partnerships with the private sector. We are thankful for our partners’ generosity in support of the continuity of public education by providing us free data for DepEd Commons access amid the COVID-19 situation,” Briones said.
For starters, access to the DepEd Commons site was made free to students and teachers using Smart even without data load. This gives them access to a multitude of educational resources for use in various grade levels of the curriculum.
Online review materials
“DepEd Commons was designed as a direct solution to give access to online review materials and Open Educational Resources (OERs) during class suspensions and other similar circumstances,” said Alain Del Pascua, Undersecretary for Administration, Department of Education. “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.”
The package also includes 10 mother tongue-based literacy apps that can be downloaded for free from Google Play under #LearnSmart. These interactive apps help develop literacy, numeracy, and higher-order thinking skills among children from Kinder to Grade 3.
“With digital learning becoming more mainstream given the COVID-19 pandemic, online teaching has come to the fore, changing the local educational climate and norms of teaching forever,” said PLDT CRO and Smart President Al Panlilio.
PLDT has also extended its services to include free access to #CyberSmart resources that equip teachers with knowledge on cybersecurity and safety, data privacy and protection, and combating fake news.
To reach out to teachers and students who are unable to go online, Smart will also provide 10 units of the School-in-a-Bag, a portable digital laboratory designed to facilitate continuous learning in times of emergencies and disasters.