Over 22 schools in the Bangsamoro region are reaping the benefits of digital learning after being recipients of Smart Communications’ (Smart) School-in-a-Bag packages.
For grade school teacher Alamina Bao, it is uncommon for children in their far-flung community of Lanao del Sur to be exposed to technology. Most of her students in Ragayan Elementary School are not even familiar with watching television, as their parents are constantly on the lookout for threats of armed conflict in their area.
After receiving School-in-a-Bag digital portable classrooms in 2018, the kits’ modern learning tools and educational content have allowed Bao and her pupils to connect with technology and be open to innovations that could enhance education and uplift the quality of life for children everywhere.
Each School-in-a-Bag comes with a teacher’s laptop and tablet, LED TV, solar panel and battery, Smart pocket Wi-Fi, and student tablets that are pre-loaded with literacy applications, multimedia resources, and disaster preparedness videos. More than just receiving gadgets though, Bao specifies that the donations are useful because of the Learn Smart educational content that is pre-installed in each student tablet.
The five literacy apps developed by Smart in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and local stakeholders, colleges and universities include the Bahay Kubo Filipino app, Kaalam Cebuano app, Taallam and Tahderiyyah Arabic apps, and Matigsalug app for the Matigsalug tribe of Davao and Bukidnon. More apps are set to be launched in 2019.
School-in-a-Bag recipients are also trained on the CVIF-Dynamic Learning Program (CVIF-DLP) teaching methodology. First implemented in the Central Visayan Institute Foundation (CVIF) in Jagna, Bohol, the disaster-resilient form of education promotes independent learning. Students work on activity sheets 80% of the time, while teachers conduct lectures for the remaining 20%.
CVIF-DLP has reportedly boosted the academic performance of students in more than 100 public and private schools nationwide. Schools that have adopted the methodology record enhanced academic performance, especially in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines.
No learner left behind
Since 2016, Smart and its partners have donated a 109 School-in-a-Bag units to various learning institutions nationwide, 83 of which were turned over in 2018 alone. To date, the Program has benefitted over thirty thousand students and over a thousand teachers in communities all over the country.
Interested parties who wish to learn more about Smart’s educational programs can visit the Smart Communities Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SmartCommunities or email firstname.lastname@example.org.