Smart’s School-in-a-Bag project brings digital learning to remote communities

A mobile school package which could be set up in several minutes makes teaching and instruction more convenient even in far-flung communities, where there are limited facilities for electricity and internet connection.

This initiative to increase access to quality education through digital learning, called School-in-a-Bag, was launched by Smart Communications, in cooperation with the Department of Education, at the Ludo Boardgame Bar and Cafe in Makati City in August 31.

"For so long, the Philippines has been divided by geography. This makes access to information extremely hard. Smart wants to unite the islands through internet connectivity. We go to schools in mountains, on isolated islands, places where there is no electricity, to bring School-in-a-Bag," said Darwin Flores, Smart Vice-President for Community Partnerships.

This effort is in line with DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones' commitment to expand the delivery of basic education to geographically challenging locations and disadvantaged communities.

Every day, students from Rawang Elementary School in Tanay, Rizal have to walk through hills and forests just to go to school. Their community is so remote that it has no electricity. Most of the students in this school have not seen, much more used a television, computer, or tablet-until July of this year, when the representatives of Smart Communications donated them with a learning tool package called School-in-a-Bag.

"Hindi lamang po kalinga ang kailangan ng mga batang mag-aaral sa probinsya, they also need opportunities that would get them out of poverty," Margarita Ballesteros, DepEd External Partnerships Service Director said.

One School-in-a-Bag learning tool package costs P100,000, and contains a solar panel for electricity, a laptop, a tablet, a mobile phone, a pocket Wi-Fi with starter load, LED TV, and learning modules.

Rawang Elementary School is just one of 10 schools in remote areas in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao that will receive School-in-a-Bag units from Smart this year.

Source: Philippine Information Agency

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