DepEd cracks down on illegal sale of online learning materials

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THE Department of Education (DepEd) is now after online sellers posting the department’s learning materials on popular online selling platforms offering various printed materials on different subject areas.

Undersecretary Alain Pascua also warned that DepEd employees, either teaching or non-teaching, face administrative or criminal charges for the illegal sale of learning materials and charging fees for free materials and trainings.

“We have dispatched our field coordinators to seek out illegal activities such as this, and we are in talks with our legal department for any legal action we can take against these erring groups and individuals,” Pascua said on Wednesday.

Reports from DepEd’s Curriculum and Instruction Strand, particularly its Bureau of Curriculum Development (BCD) and Bureau of Learning Delivery (BLD), show online sellers posting DepEd learning materials on popular online selling platforms offering various printed materials on different subject areas. Earlier reports also claim that DepEd’s Most Essential Learning Competencies or MELCs are being sold through YouTube subscriptions.

“These people are using free learning materials from DepEd, and are shamelessly selling them online,” Pascua added.

Pascua explained that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, DepEd has had to resort to strengthening its various learning delivery modes in lieu of traditional face-to-face learning. One major development was the launch of DepEd Commons (commons.deped.gov.ph), DepEd’s online learning resource portal where teachers and learners can access training demos, exercises, quizzes and e-books.

“We are working nonstop—to create, check and curate all our content to make it more accessible to everyone, only for these people to use it for their own gain. We are warning these individuals that DepEd will prosecute you,” Pascua added.

DepEd also warned teachers and the public to be wary of educational materials being peddled for sale as “authorized” or “official” DepEd MELCs, Workbooks or Worksheets, and DepEd Commons materials. As of this time, all materials are still being vetted for quality assurance by the Curriculum and Instruction strand, particularly the Bureau of Learning Resources (BLR).

“All DepEd-authorized and quality-assured materials are free, and they will be uploaded once finalized at the DepEd Commons where access and downloading will also be free. If they are being sold at this time, most probably these are still drafts,” Pascua said.

DepEd also warned of groups and individuals charging fees for supposedly free webinars conducted by DepEd, through its Educational Technology Unit (EdTech Unit).

“All DepEd webinars are free. We do not charge anything for these online trainings. If webinar organizers are charging participation fees, then these are neither sanctioned nor authorized by DepEd,” Pascua warned.

The DepEd also encouraged the public to report complaints via email to [email protected], or via these contact numbers: Mobile: 0919-456-0027 (Smart), 0995-921-8461 (Globe); Hotlines: 8636-1663, 8638-7530, 8636-1942, 8638-7529, 8634-0222, 8638-7531, 8638-8641, 8635-9817.

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