February 21, 2024

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Philippines Department of Education launches ‘Academic Panda’ for schools amid COVID-19

The Department of Education (DepEd) of the Dumaguete City Schools Division has introduced the ‘Academic Panda’ service, to ensure limited physical interaction between and among students and teachers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his presentation during the recent meeting of the City’s Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the City Schools Division Supt., Gregorio Cyrus Elejorde, stated this type of Panda application takes its cue from the Food Panda service that allows residents to order food and supplies from the comfort and safety of their homes.

He has confirmed that public schools will open classes for the school year 2020-2021 in August, with an expected 22,483 student enrollees and still growing based on the records of the DepEd’s online enrollment system.

Academic Panda allows stakeholders to select from the school any services like school forms, learning materials, and others via its mobile applications as well as their websites.

The school’s Panda processes and sends orders directly to the concerned stakeholders.

Elejorde said that to ease the fears of COVID-19 transmission, learning will now be through online, modular, or blended instructions and assessment.

Pure online learning can be delivered through the systematic utilisation of virtual interactions through Edmodo classroom and other platforms, which are preferred for students with an internet subscription.

Modular learning involves the reproduction of manuals, instructional, and assessment materials in 280 kiosks throughout the city and in every school for students who have no smartphones nor electricity.

Blended learning, on the other hand, involves online instruction and reproduction of learning materials at the kiosks for easy collection and distribution for students with smartphones and use mobile data.

The official added that there is a significant increase in the number of enrollees as many students in the private schools have opted to transfer to public schools.

The cost of logistics includes reproduction costs of printed learning materials and manuals, kiosks (computers), and printers.

The project aims to cultivate partnerships, linkages, and support from various stakeholders that can provide an internet connection, computer sets, printers, and other equipment to sustain the materials reproduction kiosk (MRK) and ensure access to learning materials by learners throughout the academic year at a reduced cost.

DepED in the Cordillera Region and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) have joined forces to introduce the DOST Courseware to science and mathematics teachers in the region as an interactive learning tool.

The DOST Courseware is an interactive multimedia educational application courseware that contains digitised and animated science and mathematics lessons, thus, creating an interactive learning environment among the teachers and students.

According to a press release, it was developed by the DOST-SEI, in partnership with the DOST- Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), and in cooperation with the DepEd.

It aims to develop information and communication technology (ICT) learning innovation in support of the upgrading and improvement of science and mathematics education in the country.

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