DepEd warns against proliferation of ‘outdated, unaccredited’ learning materials online

Published June 10, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Merlina Hernando-Malipot

The Department of Education (DepEd) on Wednesday warned the public against groups and individuals who are promoting the unauthorized distribution and printing of learning materials online.


DepEd Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua issued a stern warning to those, who, in the guise of helping the agency and the learners, promote and distribute learning materials which come from unknown sources or from old and outdated workbooks that are not currently used by the department.

“We have received reports of chain emails circulating containing links to learning materials claiming to be from DepEd and DepEd Commons,” Pascua said. “Do not be hoodwinked by these emails purporting to be helping for a cause but are in fact misleading,” he added.

To avoid being scammed, Pascua reminded parents, learners, and teachers to visit only in order to access all learning materials for free.

In March, the agency launched DepEd Commons, the online educational platform for public school teachers and learners which supports alternative learning modalities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pascua explained that since the launch of DepEd Commons, “many have tried to take advantage of the medium by downloading its materials for printing and selling them online.”

For instance, Pascua noted that chain emails have now surfaced bearing DepEd’s name and DepEd Commons. These chain emails contain links that users can click on that direct the user to “unsecure websites whose ownership are unknown.” To date, DepEd Commons has 7,966,430 unique users from public and private schools as well as those enrolled under the Alternative Learning System (ALS).

Pascua said there are groups and individuals who are trying to “discredit this administration” by distributing these outdated and unaccredited learning materials for the use of learners as part of the blended learning approach and using DepEd’s name.

He said the agency is “bent on locating those responsible for these atrocious acts” and vows to prosecute them with the fullest extent of the law, including the filing of cases for violations of intellectual property rights, copyright infringements, and other criminal and administrative actions.

Be discerning

Pascua reminded DepEd’s stakeholders and the general public to be discerning when it comes to information they receive or access online. Users, he said should “carefully discern where the emails are coming from.”

Upon review, Pascua revealed that the learning materials that are offered by unauthorized groups and individuals online do not conform to DepEd’s Most Essential Learning Competencies or MELCs. As part of its Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan (LCP), DepEd said the K to 12 curriculum has been streamlined to 5,689 MECLs from the original 14,171 – or a reduction by 60 percent.

This move, DepEd said, aims to “address curriculum review findings of congestion and overlaps.” Learning competencies, as per DepEd, refer to the “knowledge, understanding, skills, and attitudes that students need to demonstrate in every lesson and/or learning activity.”

Pascua reminded teachers and the public to be wary of educational materials being promoted as “authorized” or “official” DepEd MELCs, Workbooks or Worksheets, and DepEd Commons materials. He reiterated that all materials are still being quality assured (QA) by the Curriculum and Instruction (CI) strand, particularly by the Bureau of Learning Resources (BLR).

“All DepEd authorized and quality-assured materials are free, and they will be uploaded once finalized at the DepEd Commons where access and downloading will also be free,” Pascua said. “Printed materials will also be provided by learning centers when necessary,” he added.

To help ensure that the illegal distribution of unauthorized learning materials will stop, Pascua appealed to everyone to report any suspicious emails or promotion they see online which are “prejudicial to the efforts” that are being undertaken by the agency. Complaints and reports may be sent via email to [email protected]