DepEd seeks help of social media companies to end 'online cheating'

The Department of Education (DepEd) on Wednesday, September 22, said that it has asked the help of social media companies to ban online groups being used by students to share answers on learning modules.

In a statement on Wednesday, DepEd said that it does "not tolerate the perpetuation of cheating regardless of the learning delivery modality."

"We are now exhausting all possible means to put a stop to these activities. We have already sought the assistance of social media companies to ban these groups and prevent similar attempts of academic dishonesty that promote laziness, irresponsibility, and instant gratification," DepEd said.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) has joined the DepEd in investigating reports on alleged online cheating of students during distance learning. 

In a statement on Tuesday, September 21, PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar ordered the ACG to coordinate with the DepEd. Eleazar’s order came after Education Secretary Leonor Briones said she would seek help from the authorities in investigating the issue.

A Rappler investigative story published in February revealed that some students even pay others to do their classwork. Ever since distance learning was implemented, some students have resorted to academic dishonesty to comply with their requirements.

The DepEd appealed to parents, teachers, and students to help them "eradicate online cheating." It said that such act "undermines the development of values and morality among the youth."

"It demeans the quality of education that the department is committed to improve," the agency added.

In a previous interview with Rappler, Professor Jayeel Cornelio, director of Ateneo de Manila University's development studies program, said that this kind of industry involving students is not at all new and can be traced back to the 1980s. 

"Social media as a space has merely amplified this, perhaps as an entrepreneurial endeavor on the part of those who need money. But perhaps the question is really for those who avail of their services," he added.

Cornelio said that this kind of work can never be justified at all. "I guess its pervasiveness calls into question the design of alternative learning. How much can we teach? How heavy should the requirements be? And how exactly do we ensure quality? These are 3 questions for the system," he added. – Rappler.com

Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.

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