The Department of Education (DepEd) maintained that it “does not and will not tolerate” any form of academic dishonesty amidst reports of online cheating.
DepEd reiterated this after the Facebook group “Online Kopyahan” made its rounds online over the weekend.
Curriculum and Instruction Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio, in a memorandum dated Sept. 20, reiterated DepEd’s stand on maintaining academic honesty while uploading every learners integrity.
“In view of the most recent controversy on cheating as publicized via Facebook, it must be emphasized that DepEd does not and will not tolerate any form of academic dishonesty,” he said.
DepEd stressed that academic honesty is a “foundational element of learning and fundamental principle of all academic institutions.”
Thus, the agency noted that “violations of the principle deprive learners of the opportunity to gain a confident command of the material they are credited with knowing, degrade the learning process, and demean the learning quality” that the DepEd is committed to promote.
On the other hand, DepEd strongly warned against academic dishonesty which is “defined as any conduct that obstructs the evaluation of learner’s progress by misinterpreting the work being assessed and evaluated, as well as the learners actual knowledge”.
DepEd noted that academic dishonesty “can take many forms which can be broadly classified” which include cheating, plagiarism, fabrication or falsification, sabotage, and contract cheating.
“As self-directed learning materials, the self-learning modules (SLMs) are given to learners to allow them to manage their learning through the different formative assessments,” San Antonio said.
“Although these are not graded and are used to monitor learning progress and prepare learners for summative assessments, cheating on the answers to the SLMs has become prevalent online,” he added.
The “Online Kopyahan” – before it became inaccessible – leaked answers from online learning tests, exams, and modules.
San Antonio said that while the SLMs have key to correction — as an inherent feature of self-instructional materials — it is not intended to be used to cheat and bypass authentic learning.
“Regardless of the design of the SLMs and the extent of freedom in online space, cheating cannot be justified under any circumstance,” San Antonio said.
Due to challenges under distance learning which is being implemented on its second year due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation in the country, students reportedly resort to online cheating.
While DepEd recognizes the limitations of managing assessments in the current learning set-up, San Antonio said that this should never be tolerated.
“Teachers, parents, and school heads are highly encouraged to seek opportunities to teach academic integrity among learners discourage them from feeding on laziness and instant gratification as this will generate devastating effects on their values,” San Antonio said.
However, he also reminded that when dealing with academic dishonesty, teachers, parents and school heads “should use caution, exercise good judgment and treat learners with respect and fairness.”