March 30, 2021 – Committed to continuously transform basic education, the Department of Education (DepEd) is aiming to collaborate with various stakeholders for integrated concepts or designs of future learning spaces.

During the UNESCO’s high-level ministerial online conference on Monday, Philippine representative and DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan shared that education in the country had to make a radical shift in education delivery towards remote learning due to the COVID-19.

“COVID-19 has compelled education to innovate and mobilize resources towards transformation,” Usec. Malaluan noted, citing the Department’s blended learning initiatives such as the DepEd Commons and DepEd TV.

“But the biggest impact of COVID-19, I believe, is in compelling us to look again at the broader learning ecosystem beyond the confines of physical classrooms [which] has mobilized partners to support learners, teachers, and policymakers with new tools and knowledge,” he added.

Through its Education Futures Programme (Educ Futures), the Department has embarked on a co-creation process with various stakeholders for an integrated concept or design of future learning spaces.

The Programme’s goal is to co-create future learning spaces over the next 30 years to deliver quality, accessible, relevant, and liberating basic education for Filipinos, according to Usec. Malaluan.

Among the themes for the consultation include age-appropriate learning spaces, green learning spaces, and new digital technologies for remote learning.

The process also seeks to tackle digital capability centers for basic education, immersive technologies for skill development (VR, AR), and learning spaces for works of the future, among others.

“Education is at a critical conjuncture in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to catch up with the gaps that the crisis has created, but it should not prevent us from also leaping into the future,” Usec. Malaluan emphasized.

Titled “One year into COVID: Prioritizing education recovery to avoid a generational catastrophe,” the UNESCO virtual meeting was a platform for policy dialogue to examine the most pressing current challenges. It also showed how the Global Education Coalition has mobilized partners to support learners, teachers, and policymakers with new tools and knowledge.