December 23, 2020 – To further assist teachers in the new normal brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Education launched DepEd Teaches during the mid-year In-service Training (INSET) Week.

DepEd Teaches is an online program featuring episodes that focus on steps and initiatives in overcoming the challenges in providing education in the new normal.

“This [DepEd Teaches] initiative is a contribution of the Curriculum and Instruction strand to support the efforts of the Department of Education in communicating with our various stakeholders as it serves as a mechanism for providing technical assistance to the field as we are adapting to the new normal in basic education,” Secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones said.

During the virtual launch of the program, Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio explained that the program also aims to address confusion and doubts on curriculum, instruction, and assessment initiatives of the Department.

“The other thing that we feel would most likely influence the effectiveness of the learning activities for distance learning delivery modality is the presence of the intense communication mechanism between the teachers and the home [parents and learners]. Because if there is constant communication, doubts, confusions and uncertainties and even the difficult activities or problems that have been assigned to be undertaken and solved by learners will be addressed effectively,” said Undersecretary San Antonio.

Meanwhile, Assistant Secretary for Curriculum and Instruction Alma Ruby Torio tackled the focus of each “Overcoming Challenges” series, namely: curriculum, learning delivery modalities, classroom assessment, and learning resources. Directors Jocelyn Andaya, Leila Areola, Lito Palomar (OIC), and Ariz Delson Acay Cawilan (OIC) took turns discussing their respective topics last week.

In one of the sessions, OIC-Director Cawilan underscored one of the best practices of Lutucan Integrated National High School (LINHS) in Sariaya, Quezon Province on managing learning resources in time of the pandemic.

Among the best practices of LINHS are: (1) utilizing technology to maximize interaction with learners and lessen the cost of printed modules, (2) Utilizing Facebook groups as virtual video, FB messenger, G-meet and Zoom app for online interaction, and (3) continuous upskilling of teachers through virtual or face-to-face lock-up sessions.

“We will continue facing these challenges. We will continue to adjust to the changing needs for education. We will continue projecting what the future of education will be and we will continue developing ways by which, such creative ways will enhance the role of teachers in implementing DepEd programs and initiatives,” Secretary Briones emphasized.

To create a community of practice on curriculum, instruction and assessment issues, DepEd Teaches will run episodes featuring best practices from regional directors, schools division superintendents, school principals and teachers starting January 2021. Other educational experts will also be invited to render talks on current issues and trends in basic education.

DepEd Teaches episodes are available on DepEd Philippines Facebook page.