August 11, 2022— Dedicated to strengthening the Media and Information Literacy (MIL) education in the Philippines, the Department of Education (DepEd) facilitated Project iLearn: Writeshop I in San Juan, La Union via a hybrid set-up last July 11-13.

Spearheaded by the International Cooperation Office (ICO) in collaboration with Literacy Coordinating Council Secretariat (LCCS) and DepEd Region I, the writeshop focused on coming up with a plan for incorporating MIL in classroom-based learning and empowering regions, divisions, and schools to adopt MIL.

Writeshop I is a follow-up activity to the regional workshop titled Project iLearn: Supporting Media and Information Literacy through Education in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) which was conducted on 16-19 May 2022.

During the regional workshop, participants were introduced to the concept of MIL and were presented with ongoing initiatives by the education sectors of other ASEAN Member States. The following writeshops will serve as platforms for collaboration between the members of the technical working group which are comprised of representatives from the following offices: Bureau of Curriculum Development (BCD), Bureau of Learning Delivery (BLD), Bureau of Alternative Education (BAE), National Educators Academy of the Philippines (NEAP), Public Affairs Service (PAS), Information and Communications Technology Service (ICTS), Child Protection Unit (CPU), Indigenous Peoples Education Office (IPSEO), and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service (DRRMS). Writeshop I is the first of a string of writeshops that will be conducted by the ICO

“This is a long fight ahead of us. Let us retain the enthusiasm, the willpower, and keep the goal in mind,” International Cooperation Office Director Margarita Consolacion Ballesteros noted.

The project’s TWG convened to start drafting the skeleton of the project and crafting a comprehensive plan in key areas of the Department like Policy Development, Curriculum Review, Learning Delivery and Resource Development, Learning Development, and Advocacy.

Resource speaker Dr. Jose Reuben Alagaran of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines provided the basic concepts, competencies, and MIL curriculum guides for the first part of the program. His talk provided the general landscape and the critical points of curriculum guides that can help teachers and schools map their classroom activities to support MIL.

Moreover, Mr. Ramon Guillermo Tuazon of UNESCO discussed the main thematic areas of MIL and current social media and internet consumption trends of the Philippines while acknowledging the shortcomings of the current MIL education in the country.

As part of the writeshop, Ms. Ann Lorraine Macadaeg of the Philippine Information Agency facilitated and set the mechanics for the session. The output of the TWG consisted of a rough draft of a work plan for the project as well as alternatives for its title. In the first writeshop, the objectives, activities, timeframe, and budget estimates were identified. In the writeshops that will follow, the team aims to refine these activities.

Following the adoption of the ASEAN Work Plan on Education (AWPE) 2021-2025 and the Philippines’ commitment to fulfilling Activity 1.1.3: Organize media and information literacy to promote peace education, moderation values, and combat fake news, the subsequent write shops will further determine the following steps to be taken by the Department for the MIL of the basic education sector until 2025.