Smart Satur­days help fund roll out of portable dig­i­tal class­rooms

Sun Star Bacolod - - Billboard -

MORE LEARN­ERS are ex­pected to ben­e­fit from mo­bile tech­nol­ogy, 21st cen­tury teach­ing tools and mul­ti­me­dia re­sources as em­ploy­ees of PLDT wire­less sub­sidiary Smart Com­mu­ni­ca­tions (Smart) con­tinue to sup­port ‘Smart Satur­days’, a fundrais­ing ac­tiv­ity for the pur­chase of Smart School-in-abag pack­ages.

Smart Satur­days is an em­ployee en­gage­ment pro­gram where, for sev­eral week­ends through­out a year, em­ploy­ees sign up for exclusive film screen­ings to watch block­buster movies with their loved ones. A por­tion from the sale of movie ticket is used to pur­chase portable dig­i­tal lab­o­ra­to­ries for pub­lic schools and non-for­mal learn­ing cen­ters, in­clud­ing those in re­mote ar­eas.

Fa­cil­i­tated by the com­pany’s Peo­ple Group, the most re­cent and largest Smart Satur­days leg to-date gath­ered close to 8,000 em­ploy­ees and their com­pan­ions in over 10 SM cin­e­mas na­tion­wide. Re­sources raised will fund School-in-a-bag kits, which gen­er­ally con­tain a teacher’s lap­top and tablet, stu­dent tablets, a Smart pocket Wifi unit, a so­lar panel and charg­ing sta­tion, a pro­jec­tor, DVD player, and mul­ti­me­dia re­sources all car­ried in a weather-proof back­pack.

The do­nated de­vices are pre-in­stalled with Learn Smart’s suite of lit­er­acy apps that were de­vel­oped in part­ner­ship with the De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion (Deped) and aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions na­tion­wide. Teach­ers of School-in-a-bag ben­e­fi­ciary schools are also trained on the Dy­namic Learn­ing Pro­gram method­ol­ogy.

In 2018, the Smart Satur­days em­ployee pro­gram funded seven portable dig­i­tal class­rooms. Among the re­cip­i­ents were day­care and kinder­garten stu­dents un­der the Ju­bilee Shelter Pro­gram (JSP), which was es­tab­lished by the Malo­los Dio­cese So­cial Ac­tion Cen­ter, Inc. in 2010 to help com­mu­ni­ties dev­as­tated by Typhoon On­doy. “After ev­ery­thing that the res­i­dents of this com­mu­nity have been through dur­ing On­doy, these do­na­tions and pro­grams help give them hope,” the JSP teach­ers jointly ex­pressed.

Another School-in-a-bag do­na­tion that was funded through the Smart Satur­days pro­gram was that of Mon­icayo El­e­men­tary School, which serves the Aeta com­mu­ni­ties of Ma­bal­a­cat, Pam­panga. Prin­ci­pal and Aeta rights ad­vo­cate May­lon D. Manaloto shared that though it is small and far-flung, the school boasts of some of the smartest stu­dents from area. “The ben­e­fits of School-in-a-bag will be of big help to Aeta learn­ers, who should not get left be­hind when it comes to the lat­est learn­ing re­sources,” he said.

Other ben­e­fi­cia­ries who re­ceived School-in-a-bag kits funded through Smart Satur­days were learn­ers and teach­ers from Balanti El­e­men­tary School in Tar­lac City; Cebu City Al­ter­na­tive Learn­ing Sys­tems; Ma­si­bay In­te­grated School in Nu­nun­gan, Lanao Del Norte; Sam­paloc El­e­men­tary School in Tanay, Rizal; and Trangka El­e­men­tary School in Maasin, Iloilo.

Since the pro­gram’s launch in 2016, over a hun­dred School-in-a-bag units have been de­ployed through part­ner­ships be­tween Smart and both in­di­vid­ual and or­ga­ni­za­tional donors. These have ben­e­fit­ted over thirty thou­sand stu­dents and more than a thou­sand teach­ers in learn­ing com­mu­ni­ties from all over the coun­try.

For more in­for­ma­tion on School-in-a-bag, send an email to learns­[email protected]/ PR

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