May 23, 2021 — Citing different technology-based projects of the Department of Education (DepEd), Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del B. Pascua highlighted the importance of harnessing technology as part of education’s new normal during an international educational forum.

In the first-ever Asia Pacific Public Sector Digital Summit, Undersecretary Pascua underscored the Philippine government’s initiatives to ensure learning continuity amidst the pandemic, including DepEd TV, DepEd Commons, and DepEd Radio.

“If there are no face-to-face classes, then we have to devise all means to reach out to our learners and to bring basic education to them. We have to educate, by all means, we have to teach by all means, and our learners have to learn by all means,” Usec. Pascua said

“We need to master distance learning now, making all the necessary improvements and perfecting our processes for the DepEd Commons, DepEd TV, DepEd Radio, the DepEd Learning Management System, the DepEd Mobile App, and others,” he added.

In addition, Pascua stressed the importance of the Public Education Network (PEN), which will fast-track the digital connectivity of all public schools and DepEd offices nationwide.

“With this network, schools will become connectivity hubs for all the households around it so that contents are made available to every learner in the community even without internet bandwidth. If this connectivity is reinforced by internet bandwith availability, then it is a big leap forward,” he said.

Pascua also hinted at a future DepEd project, which aims to update and pattern DepEd TV after streaming services to allow learners to study their learning materials at their own pace.

“Those who need more time and repetition can easily review and go back to all the lessons, while those who learn in a faster pace can access new lessons and other lessons outside of their grade levels,” Pascua pointed out.

Meanwhile, in terms of re-imagining education in the new normal, Pascua shared that he advocates for the continuation of online and broadcast learning platforms post-pandemic since classroom shortage remains an issue in the country.

“With that kind of interface, our education curriculum can adapt to the needs of the entire nation and even the world. Then, our basic education becomes relevant and liberating for it serves what our nation needs and what our world needs,” Pascua explained.

These plans are part of the Public Schools of the Future (PSOF) Framework of the Administration Strand led by Undersecretary Alain Del B. Pascua and Assistant Secretary Salvador Malana III, under the leadership of Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones.

Bringing together some of the most respected public sector executives and industry thought leaders from around the world, Usec. Pascua was joined by Mr. Alvin Ong, Chief Information Officer of the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, in the panel chaired by Mr. Anthony Salcito, Microsoft’s Vice President for Worldwide Education.