DepEd eyes pact with parents vs online cheating among pupils | Inquirer News
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DepEd eyes pact with parents vs online cheating among pupils

/ 05:34 AM September 23, 2021

Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — To address the recent controversy over online cheating among students, the Department of Education (DepEd) directed its regional offices to take immediate steps in upholding academic integrity, including making students and parents sign a “contract” against dishonesty.

The regional offices were encouraged to monitor the online activities of students and warn them against membership in any cheating platform, according to the Sept. 20 memorandum issued by Diosdado San Antonio, DepEd undersecretary for curriculum and instruction.

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The memo comes following media reports about a Facebook group called “Online Kopyahan’’ where students shared their notes and test answers on modules and other learning materials being used in the blended learning setup implemented because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The group had more than 600,000 members before it was deleted.

“In its goal of producing holistically developed learners, the Department of Education reiterates its stand on maintaining academic honesty while upholding every learner’s integrity,” the DepEd said.

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The DepEd also recommended the conduct of an orientation with parents to make them aware of the Facebook pages that promote cheating.

The schools are encouraged to initiate support groups for parents “to ensure that they are instilling the values of honesty and integrity in their children.”

The teachers were urged to make a contract against academic dishonesty, which they had to discuss with the students and their parents and then ask them to sign the agreement.

“Then, if a learner is caught cheating, the teacher can pull out the contract and act accordingly,” DepEd said.

San Antonio also told the regional offices to ensure transparency in the grading system and explore other assessment strategies like making multiple versions of tests, randomizing test items and showing questions only once “to avoid retracing of previous answers.”

The department also suggested the creation of television and radio programs that advocate academic honesty and integrity.

‘Feeding on laziness’

The DepEd acknowledged the limitations of handling assessments in the current learning setup, “however, teachers, parents and school heads are highly encouraged to seek out opportunities to teach academic integrity among learners and discourage them from feeding on laziness and instant gratification.”

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Education Secretary Leonor Briones said on Monday that the agency was coordinating with authorities to investigate the online cheating group.

“We are now seeking the assistance of the authorities because there are questions there and there are answer keys. We will investigate whether the key answers were leaked to students or they shared the answers,’’ she said in a Palace briefing.

“We will take steps and we are already in touch with appropriate authorities because we will not tolerate it, at least in education,” she added.

Briones said cheating has been a “lingering issue” even prior to the pandemic but vowed that the department would take action against it.

“Cheating in schools is a lingering problem. I am not justifying it; I am merely stating that it exists and we will not tolerate it. Cheating is a problem in society, not just in the Philippines, but in human nature itself,” she added.

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TAGS: DepEd, distance learning, online cheating, online classes
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