By Ric Sakai III
FOLLOWING a statement from the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) blaming the lack of tutorial support for the emergence of several online cheating groups in Facebook, the Department of Education (DepEd) announced that it is already coordinating with the authorities to investigate online cheating among students in order to formulate a way to counter such this school year 2021-2022.
It was earlier discovered that some students were using a Facebook group to share notes and answers to tests with one another in the current setup of blended learning amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
One of the public groups was brazenly named ‘Online Kopyahan’ (online cheating), which attracted nearly 700,000 followers before it became inaccessible over the weekend. Online Kopyahan was filled with posts of modules and test papers with answers.
In another Facebook group called ‘Online Kopyahan (2)’, which had more than 71,000 members, as of this writing, some of its group members recruited other students through Facebook group chats, where they also share their answers. Similar groups under similar names have also come out, but most of them were set to private, meaning only members can see their posts.
Education secretary Leonor Briones admitted that cheating has been a “lingering issue” that extends even before the pandemic but she promised that DepEd would definitely take action against it.
“We are now seeking the assistance of authorities in tracing kasi mayroon naman talagang, may questions kasi tayo d’yan at may key answers tayo (rin) d’yan. Kung na-leak ba iyan o napunta sa estudyante o nagkopyahan, kailangan imbestigahan natin iyan,” 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 (cheating), at least in education,” she added.
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte has approved limited face-to-face classes in a maximum of 120 public and private schools in areas deemed low-risk for Covid-19. This covers a “maximum of 100 public schools in areas categorized as minimal risk” and that have “passed the readiness assessment,” and an additional 20 private schools jointly validated by the DepEd and the Department of Health (DoH), according to Malacañang.