PLDT employees recently went to a remote public school in Aparri, Cagayan to donate devices and digital learning content housed in a package called Smart School-in-a-Bag.
The kit, given to Bulala Norte Elementary School, is the fifth one donated by the PLDT Employees Credit Cooperative Inc. to underserved schools in the Philippines. The group has turned over Smart School-in-a-Bag units to Malipay Elementary School in Bacoor, Cavite; Macabud Elementary School in Rodriguez, Rizal; Lanipew Barrio School in Kibungan, Benguet; and Malalan Elementary School in Davao City.
Created by Smart Communications, the School-in-a-Bag is a big backpack containing a laptop, tablets, TV, a solar panel with battery, pocket Wi-Fi, and various digital and printed educational content aligned with the official curriculum. It is donated by Smart and by sponsors willing to contribute P100,000 for each kit.
The donation package includes teacher training and yearlong monitoring.
“We are thankful to have been given these tools for our students. We have a hard time providing for their needs. Our teaching tools are insufficient. These gadgets would help in our daily classes. I am very sure that this would motivate our students to go to school and participate in class activities,” said school principal Reynaldo Enayo.
Fifth-grader Badeth Sosa said she’s excited about the tablets she and her classmates would get to use at school. “I’m more willing to go to school. I’m grateful because they provided tools for our study,” she said.
Previous school recipients of the Smart School-in-a-Bag have reported enhanced literacy and heightened interest in learning among their students. One teacher in Albay noted that some of her students would even go to school despite class suspensions so they could learn from the tablets.
PECCI’s Henry Estolano, who chairs the cooperative’s social and community development committee, said, “When I learned about the Smart School-in-a-Bag, I told my colleagues that it’s a complete package, as far as education is concerned. So, we didn’t hesitate to contact Smart, and the PECCI board agreed to donate to schools selected by the Department of Education.”
The cooperative will turn over five more bags in the coming months.
Smart public affairs senior manager Stephanie Orlino encourages organizations and even individuals to sponsor Smart School-in-a-Bag units, especially for remote schools. “Smart has donated several bags to schools in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, but we cannot do this by ourselves. There are thousands of public schools without access to electricity and to digital tools that can enhance students’ learning. Let us work together so these students would not be left behind.”
Those interested to help can email [email protected] and check out Smart Communities on Facebook for more details.
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