As the Department of Education (DepEd) gears up for the opening of the new school year on October 5, the agency announced that it will be conducting summative and performance tasks this year instead of periodical examinations to prevent “distance cheating.”
According to Education Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio, teachers are also encouraged to hold occasional conversations with their students to prevent these kinds of incidents.
“[Distance cheating] could be addressed by the summative and performance tasks. The other things that could be done is for the teachers to do occasional conversations with the learners so it does not have to be a test, it could just be a conversation focusing on the lessons covered,” the undersecretary said in an interview aired on GMA’s news show 24 Oras last Wednesday, October 23.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones clarified that these new measures were not necessarily developed to “prevent cheating” but are alternative ways of measuring and assessing the progress of learners. Parents should “take the lead in fostering the value of honesty in their children,” according to San Antonio.
DOJ issues guidelines for school administrators and parents
Meanwhile, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Cybercrime (OOC) has issued guidelines for school administrators, parents, and the public so that students are protected against abuse and neglect.
According to the DOJ-OOC, while video conferencing services provide “easy” access to education, it also poses security risks such as the “loss of confidentiality, availability and integrity of computer data” and the exposure of students to “abusive strangers and harmful online contents,” reports GMA News.
To keep students safe, the DOJ advised school administrators to provide room credentials only to the registered students and their parents. Credentials should never be posted on a public platform.
“Another good practice would be sending the meeting ID and password in a separate communication,” the DOJ added.
In addition, administrators should accept meeting participants individually. They should also provide a standard naming instruction for the students and parents. In the guidelines, the DOJ says participants’ video and audio must be turned off at the start of the meeting and screen sharing should be disabled for non-hosts.
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Participants, meanwhile, should not be allowed to join before the host and rename themselves or replace their background with images while the meeting is going on. Private messages between participants should not be allowed, and they should not have access to file transfers, sharing screens, and the use of annotation tools to add information to shared screens.
The DOJ emphasized that “students should never be left alone in a virtual classroom.” Parents and guardians should “conscientiously guide” their children with online classes and activities. They should help the students understand what appropriate and responsible behavior is when it comes to the use of technology.
What to expect in the new school year? Click here for more DepEd guidelines.