PCOO to help DepEd in creating materials for blended learning program

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said on Friday the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) will assist the Department of Education (DepEd) in the production and broadcast of educational videos under the blended learning program.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar (PCOO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a statement, Andanar said the PCOO will help the DepEd in order to achieve President Duterte's directive about prohibiting face-to-face classes while complying with the government's minimum public health standards.

"Following the closure of schools, physical access to education was halted as a response to the threats by the pandemic," he said Friday.

"The PCOO has committed to the DepEd's cause on the creation and production of the Most Essential Learning Competencies (MELCs) output and video materials for our students," he added.

The Palace official said that harnessing and maximizing available technologies, such as television, radio, and internet as viable platforms for lesson delivery for independent and parental-supervised learners has been considered.

"As such, the usage of TV and radio, apart from social media and the internet, are truly accessible to learners, especially to the indigent and remote communities," Andanar, a former broadcast journalist, said.

He recommended creating and producing at least 352 MELC outputs and video materials each month, which will be at least 30 minutes to an hour-long, to be moderated and taught by DepEd teachers over the platforms that will be launched simultaneously with the opening of schools on August 24, 2020.

They also recommended distributing 12 to 48 videos to different regions to assist the DepEd in the collective transition to the "new normal."

According to Andanar, the recommended participation is aimed at converting the K-12 program and curriculum lessons of DepEd into materials which will be managed, produced, covered, and distributed by the Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC-13) and Philippine Broadcasting Services (PBS), for the consumption of students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

"DepEd teachers will be trained by IBC-13 and PBS as broadcasters/actors, and editors in this proposed endeavor," he said.

Under this project, Andanar proposed that IBC-13 and PBS will undertake the production management, post-production, network rebranding (station IDs, opening and closing billboards of shows), and the distribution of programs to other TV and radio stations.

To further optimize the PBS and IBC-13’s frequencies, they will likewise partner with cable operators nationwide and take advantage of the internet by maximizing official websites, social media accounts, and YouTube channels, to reach at least 18 million of public school learners.

"While this proposed assistance remains a pending recommendation to DepEd, our overall commitment to contribute to our nation’s collective development, especially to that of our youth and our students in this time of pandemic remains resolute and unwavering as we continue to fight COVID-19 and to heal as one nation," he said.

President Duterte has been firm about not allowing face-to-face classes until a vaccine or cure for COVID-19 is developed.