The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is set to conduct online sessions aimed at preparing teachers under the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to adapt to alternative learning systems post the lockdown measures in place for COVID-19.
The DICT is mobilising its various bureaus and agencies to roll out the sessions. The ICT Literacy and Competency Development Bureau (ILCDB), Cybersecurity Bureau and Regional Offices will develop the content of these online sessions as well as facilitating the conducting of the webinars.
Aimed at capacitating and upskilling the ICT competencies of the education sector, the program will cater to teachers, administrators, educators, and students in different public and private educational institutions and state universities and colleges.
Earlier in May, the DICT had encouraged all government institutions in the Philippines, including national government agencies (NGAs), state universities and colleges (SUCs) and government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), to review and assess their current information and communications technology (ICT) equipment and software.
The DICT said updating ICT equipment and software would be a vital step towards optimising available bandwidth and mitigating risks associated with the use of old or outdated ICT hardware and software.
The department stressed the importance of regularly implanting updates to create a safe cyberspace for all.
Additionally, inefficiencies and down-time due to bugs, lags and errors would be significantly reduced. This is important at all times but is critical currently time when the government’s productivity and nation’s sustainability is heavily reliant on ICT.
The capacity building modules will prepare all concerned staff and stakeholders to get familiar with available ICT enabled education services, online learning management systems, online educational resources and video conferencing.
These webinars will serve as to raise awareness of safe online behaviour, cybersecurity and privacy practices.
This initiative is in accordance with the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).
The initiative has adopted the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan of the DepEd which directs schools to decide on the specific learning delivery modalities such as blended and online learning delivery modes to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said, “ICT has become crucial for retaining a sense of continuity for our society, especially in the education sector. DICT is here to help upskill the ICT capacity of our teachers in order for them to utilize the full potential of ICT in providing quality education to their students given the disruptions in holding face-to-face classes.”
The DICT had initially launched free online technical training for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
They had also offered digital governance trainings to Chief Information Officers (CIOs), Planning or Policy Officers, ICT Service Officers, ICT Project Managers, Management Information System (MIS) Officers, and ICT professionals of government and private organizations.
The DICT continues to be committed to work towards providing digital literacy and capacity to various sectors to empower the nation to better adapt to the new normal.
“All of these initiatives are in support of the administration’s efforts through the IATF-MEID in mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 crisis” Secretary Honasan emphasised.
DICT is firm in its commitment to utilize information and communications technology in supporting the initiatives and policies of the IATF-MEID and to ensure consistent and reliable telecommunication services, sufficient bandwidth allocation and internet stability across government and private sectors in the Philippines during the COVID-19 public health emergency.