DepEd Commons becomes the “new normal”

While the pandemic will not only have possible long-lasting effects to our educational system, its lessons will also lead to a more fundamental change. Resilience amidst the threat on health requires all of us to act differently. As the country grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Education took this opportunity to be more inclusive in utilizing other modes of learning which are responsive, timely, and relevant in today’s situation. It is eager to explore new paths so that the educational process will not be hampered.

Undoubtedly, one of the biggest impacts of this global crisis is on education- affecting the delivery of instruction and teaching modalities. Adherence to the government’s declaration, no one has ever thought that this faceless enemy will drag the educational system resulting to the suspension of classes and cancellation of lined-up activities.

With its vision to provide a significant avenue for learners and to ensure the continuity of education in the wake of health emergency, the Department implemented an Alternative Delivery Mode (ADM) known as DepEd Commons which is said to be useful and substantial in today’s state.

DepEd Commons is an online learning delivery platform which is primarily developed for public and private school learners. It is an online-based alternative learning modalities which aims to be receptive and beneficial to learners amidst the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period. While our government is stressing that the most effective way to combat the devastating virus is by staying home, this online platform serves as a learning vehicle for students to continue learning without compromising their health and safety.

Since most of our learners today are exposed to the use of gadgets and internet, DepEd Commons attracts many as it is just a click away. By simply logging-in to using smartphones or personal computer, you will be directed to the site which provides lessons and worksheets appropriate for the learner’s grade level. It is indeed a fun-filled activity which enables learners to be on-track with their lessons while on home quarantine.

Said to be the “new normal”, the Schools Division Office (SDO) of Davao De Oro is taking initiatives to effectively channel the use of this new learning portal by providing access to respective schools, teachers, and learners.

The SDO aims to bridge learning and to ensure that learning can never be hampered by any sorts of emergencies. Through wide-dissemination and proper information among schools and teachers, this online learning platform has flourished and is within reach among learners throughout the province.

Learners were hooked to it as it provides highly engaging activities related to their lessons. This actually made their homestay worthwhile while spending their time wisely.
In a video uploaded online, John C. Tayone Jr., a grade 5 learner from Nabunturan Central Elementary School-Sped Center, shared the steps on how to use and enjoy the learning portal at the comfort of our homes.

A teacher from Montevista NHS, Rose Rhee Lamera, also shared how incredibly useful is the site to her son. She stressed out that despite the suspension of classes, learners can still go through their lessons.

“My son is from a private school. I am amazed with this platform because all lessons in different learning areas were uploaded here. My son finds it very enjoyable because the exercises are in a form of a game”, she said.

Parents find it very helpful. Instead of using gadgets for useless cause, their children can now learn while having fun. It is actually an effective form of bonding for parents and learners while being quarantined in their respective homes.
With the rise of this current learning trend, the SDO encourages all teachers, both from public and private, to stretch significant contribution which will improve the Department’s ICT service. It calls out all school personnel to do their share in transforming and refining this platform by contributing meaningful learning experiences in response to the need to promote inclusive education for all.

It continues to look forward for innovations which will make this platform more exciting and engaging, especially in this time of predicament where face-to-face teaching seems to be impossible. It is also looking for ways and alternatives which will bridge the gaps for those learners who do not have access to internet and gadgets like smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers.

Through this initiative, we can continue to address issues and reinforce learning among our learners. The global call for health and emergency action has begun and we must rise and not lose momentum at this very crucial stage. COVID-19 is unequivocally affecting our lives and we must slowly learn how to live with it.

Education must never be hindered and with our aptitudes and creativity, we can combat this anonymous adversary and continue to ensure quality education for all.

By Given G. Hinampas, Montevista National High School through Dr. Josie T. Bolofer, Chief-CID, Division of Davao de Oro