PASIG CITY, March 20, 2020–  As the entire Luzon and other parts of the country remain under enhanced community quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department of Education (DepEd) launched DepEd Commons, an online platform for public school teachers to support distance learning modalities.

Since its inception last Wednesday, March 17, a total of 151,749 teachers have joined the said online platform, gaining support and praise from teachers as well as parents.

“As a teacher po nila, I can say na napakalaking tulong po sa mga bata nito lalo na po na nakahome quarantine. Masasabi ko po na this is the best way to continue their learnings even without their teachers. Nag eenjoy na sila, natututo pa,” teacher Alleluia Romero of Indang Central Elementary School in Cavite said.

“Sobrang helpful po ang DepEd Commons sa mga bata especially now na sa gadgets na po nakatutok ang mga bata lalo walang pasok. May mga options pa po sila pwede makapag- advance once na malampasan na nila yung para sa level nila. Kitang kita po yung tuwa sa kanila lalo na kapag nakikita nila na tama yung sagot nila. Big help din po ito para hindi na puro games lang ang ginagawa nila while using gadgets,” mother Jasmin Papa shared.

For Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, the DepEd Commons is a step towards being able to offer continuity of education to Filipino learners despite disruptions of classes.

“Education must continue even in times of crisis whether it may be a calamity, disaster, emergency, quarantine, or even war. We appreciate the efforts of Information and Communications Technology Service and Undersecretary Pascua for making this platform available in these trying times,” Briones said.

Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua noted that the said platform has many limitations and is still being improved, while underscoring that the use of it is not yet required.

“We acknowledge the reality of situation wherein DepEd Commons and its Open Education Resources (OER) are not accessible to all teachers and learners. Given that not everyone has access to a stable internet connection, online learning platforms are only given as an option for those who have access to such medium,” Undersecretary Pascua said.

“We must start somewhere and work our way towards the ideal where all teachers and learners in the country can access such resources. Until that time, we offer DepEd Commons and OERs to those who can make use of them, as we continue to work for the connectivity of all our schools and offices,” Pascua concluded.