Aida Yuvienco, CIO of Department of Education.
As one of the largest government agencies in the Philippines, the Department of Education's (DepEd) biggest challenge is to be flexible enough to keep pace and innovate the delivery of education in the fast changing world.
"There was a time when the DepEd management used three-year-old data for programme planning and budgeting," Aida Yuvienco, CIO of DepEd, told the delegates of the CIO Conference in Manila last Thursday (25 May 2017).
"Consequently, [a number of] programmes and projects fell short of objectives. There was a huge backlog of schools and classroom construction, and there was always a shortage of teachers," she continued.
To counter these challenges, the agency established a digital transformation framework that highlights four key areas where ICT can be applied. The areas are: teaching and learning, communication, governance planning and decision making, and process and operations.
Integrating ICT in teaching and learning
"After the K+12 programme implementation, the next big challenge for DepEd is institutionalising the integration of ICT in teaching elderlies, preparing our learners for the future workforce to be technologically and globally competitive, and enabling them to significantly contribute to society as skilled, knowledge workers," Yuvienco explained.
As such, the department issued policies and memos to guide their employees how to use ICT for teaching and learning, and provide technology support. DepEd also used social media to ensure that the orders, memos and policy declarations reach all the schools in the Philippines.
In addition, DepEd created its Computerisation Programme (DCP) to provide schools with computer packages and IT equipment. In a press release, DepEd said a total of 53,785 DCP packages have been delivered, as of December 2016.
As part of its digital education initiative, the agency has developed a Learning Resources (LR) portal to provide digitised educational materials. Currently, the portal has more than 4,000 learning resources. DepEd has also pre-loaded an offline version of LR portal in DCP packages for schools that do not have internet connection.
Yuvienco said DepEd aims to digitise textbooks and put it in the portal in future.
Meanwhile, DepEd last year ordered the creation of Learning Action Cells (LAC) within schools to help education professionals improve teaching and learning. ICT training for teachers are also done in LACs. Yuvienco shared that so far, more than 7,000 schools have undergone this level 2 training. Therefore, those who have been trained can now train other teachers in their respective schools.
Improving data collection and consolidation for better planning
In 2011, DepEd implemented the Learner's Information System (LIS) and Enhanced Basic Education Information System (EBEIS) to improve data collection and consolidation. LIS is an online registration platform for students in public schools, while EBEIS is an online platform for encoding, storage, and report of all school information, such as enrolment and resource inventories.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.