DICT to train public school students, teachers on online classes

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 26 2020 12:22 PM | Updated as of May 26 2020 01:16 PM

MANILA – Government has said it would train students and teachers in public schools and state universities and colleges (SUCs) on online classes as the country’s education system prepares to shift to a new normal due to the coronavirus pandemic.

For the coming academic year, educational institutions are set to implement alternative methods of delivering lessons such as online learning, since in-person classes are discouraged to avoid exposing students, teachers and other school personnel to the new coronavirus.

The Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) has directed its personnel to hold online seminars and other similar activities aimed at “upskilling the information and communications technology (ICT) competencies” of educators, administrators, and students from public schools and SUCs, according to President Rodrigo Duterte’s ninth report to Congress on government’s response to the pandemic.

The training would prepare students, teachers and administrators “for the potential use of available ICT-enabled education services,” according to the report released Monday.

In an earlier statement, the DICT said it would train students and teachers on the use of “online learning management systems, video conferencing platforms, and online educational resources, with due regard to raising awareness on safe cybersecurity and privacy practices.”

The Department of Education (DepEd) has given schools the freedom to choose which learning delivery modes to implement, depending on the health situation of the locality and available resources.

Aside from online platforms, schools may also hold limited face-to-face classes and use of printed modules. The DepEd also said it would deliver lessons through television and radio.

The Commission on Higher Education, meanwhile, encouraged colleges and universities to implement flexible learning, where lessons are taught through various means such as online classes and take-home exercises.

But some groups have raised concerns on the conduct of online classes due to unreliable and unequal internet access in the country.

President Rodrigo Duterte said late Monday that he would not allow physical classes unless a vaccine for COVID-19 is available.