ALAIN DEL B. PASCUA
Message for the 1st DepEd Cyber Expo
Philippine International Convention Center, Pasay City
Under the leadership of Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, the Department of Education (DepEd) has been kept on its toes in pursuit of its 10-Point Agenda towards “quality, accessible, relevant, and liberating basic education for all,” and the agency’s drive for needed internal and external reforms.
Last month, we completed SIPAG 2019 or the Synchronized Instructions, Procedures, and Guidelines on Administration, Procurement, Finance and Field Operations – four weeks of clustered meetings that brought together Central Office officials and personnel and their Regional and Division counterparts to deliver updates, discuss concerns, and roll out programs and productivity tools.
This DepEd Cyber Expo, the brainchild of the Office of the Undersecretary for Administration (OUA) and the Information and Communications Technology Service (ICTS), is a component of the DepEd Digital Rise as embodied in its vision for the Public Schools of the Future. A vision that will definitely include and level the playing field for the Last Mile Schools.
The Digital Rise for Public Schools of the Future considers the following:
- Public school teachers are upskilled, provided with and trained in the use of the latest technology in the classroom.
- Digital Boards or Interactive Screen Displays are provided to enhance the teaching-learning experience via the use of videos, interactive application and games, virtual field trips. These smart boards will allow access to digital information in the world’s information highway.
- Techno-Hubs, with computers and IT equipment, are established to support academic and co-curricular subjects, giving way to creativity and innovative ideas of learners and teachers in solving local issues and problems. The Techno-Hubs will have additional and readily available digital reading resources and reference materials.
- Public Science High Schools will have an Innovation Hub with the latest available emerging technologies for use by learners in solving ICT-based problems, issues, and concerns in the community. The iHub will, among others, house 3D Printing Technology, Makerspace, Robotics Engineering and Simulation, Mechatronics Facilities, and Drone Technology.
- Public Science High Schools are centers of excellence in the field of Cyber Security and Industrial Robotics. Public school teachers are trained in this field – and subsequently certified internationally – so they can capacitate learners. Cyber Security shall be offered in the curriculum from Junior to Senior High School. Graduates of this track can have the option to be certified as Cyber Security experts, qualifying them for a highly in-demand job in the next 5 to 20 years.
- Public School learners have tablets or laptops, or access to them. These learning tools contain thousands of digital content (from textbooks, real-time information, reference materials, lessons and exercises, instructional and educational materials, and even test administration) allowing learners to understand concepts clearly and adept to the requirements of the K to 12 Curriculum. Such skills will bridge the digital divide, most especially in the Last Mile Schools.
- DepEd Information Technology Officers (ITOs), at national, regional and division levels, are regularly capacitated and updated with the latest advancements in the use of technology to address technical requirements of laboratories and equipment, enabling them to pass the same skills to teachers. An adequate number of ITOs per given number of public schools or equipment is provided to allow proper maintenance of equipment and systems. The ITOs are assisted by IT Aides at the school level who maintain the Techno-Hubs. The IT Aides come from the ranks of Senior High School students and graduates.
- All public schools and administrative offices are interconnected with one another in various levels thru the DepEd Wide Area Network (DWAN). Communications and delivery of services are made easy where content can be pushed both ways even without internet connection. Governance and services of the entire DepEd community is vastly improved.
- All public schools and administrative offices are provided with enough internet bandwidth to connect and explore the World Wide Web.
- Geographic Information System (GIS) is used to plan and monitor DepEd projects.
- All DepEd systems are migrated to a private and secure Cloud environment to ensure a high level of access and security even during disasters, thus adopting a hybrid approach for mission critical systems to allow uninterrupted operations with or without internet.
- DepEd maximizes use of available technology to transform education to facilitate governance and to enable all its constituents with the proper digital skills demanded by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. DepEd has moved away from building its own software to purchasing off-the-shelf system in the form of the DepEd Enterprise Resource Planning System (DERPS). This has accelerated the implementation of various organizational systems and has ensured the availability of numerous vendors that can be contracted to make future adjustments in its software.
- DepEd has ensured systems and software sustainability by reversing and rectifying the department’s dependency on a limited group of individuals or consultants.
- The efficacy of using mobile applications in the workplace makes a good integration of all existing tools and information systems readily available in one click. Thru the DepEd Mobile Apps, all reports of teachers, administrators, and program coordinators are ICT-enabled where all input and data are saved, stored, recorded, and integrated in a single mobile platform. In addition, all public schools and offices have a classroom-integrated information management system where planning, implementation, and monitoring of all programs and projects are fully automated.
- The operation and governance of DepEd is strengthened with continued efforts of the administration in partnership with international industry players like Facebook, Microsoft, Adobe, Oracle, LinkedIn, Google, and Apple, to name a few, to deliver quality and future-ready resources for the benefit of learners, teachers, and administrators, as well as the entire DepEd community.
The Cyber Expo aims to harness technological strides, ideas, systems and inventions and provide a variety of new and innovative opportunities and approaches to learning and teaching. It serves as a platform for learners, teachers, and administrators to showcase their IT-enabled products, achievements, experiences, best practices, and innovations, and where new finds from all over the world are presented and discussed.
A yearly DepEd Cyber Expo will cap and showcase the continuous learning and development of the entire DepEd community in the quest for digital excellence and transformation, to support and sustain the requirements of the K to 12 curriculum.
This is DRIVE – DepEd’s Digital Rise. With this Cyber Expo, DepEd drives towards the Public Schools of the Future.