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Smart enables distance learning of Tagum scholars

by Smart Communications | Aug 19, 2021
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Smart enables distance learning of Tagum scholars

Distance learning is the only way for students to continue learning while face-to-face classes are not an option yet in this time of pandemic. 
 
But shifting to this mode of learning has not always been favorable to most students, especially to those who have no stable access to reliable internet connection.

Nelson Navarro, a fourth-year college student in Tagum City, shares the problem of many as he is sometimes forced to logout from his online classes when internet connectivity is interrupted in the middle of a class.
 
“As one of the many students who experience problems with the internet, I cannot describe how frustrating it is. In order to attend my classes with no interruption, I need to have a stable connection as Zoom and Google Meets consume huge amount of data,” he said.
 
Committed to help the education sector in enabling distance learning and continuing education amidst the pandemic, PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has turned over 132 units of SmartBro Pocket Wifi devices with load cards to the City Government of Tagum.
 
Tagum City Mayor Allan L. Rellon expressed his gratitude to Smart during the turnover ceremony as this will benefit the city scholars.
 
“This is a big help to our learners and scholars as they adapt to blended learning. We have already tapped the 23 Sangguniang Kabataan presidents through our Public Education Employment Services Office (PESO) to identify the beneficiaries of these pocket wifi devices,” he said.

Smart enables distance learning of Tagum scholars
 
The turnover ceremony was also attended by Tagum City Vice Mayor, Atty. Eva Lorraine E. Estabillo and PLDT Smart Davao Region Area Development Manager, Hazel Nabatar. 
 
Tagum City Youth Development Office Coordinator and executive assistant Jacqueline Bandong De-Asis, in a separate interview, said that the donation of Smart aligns with one of the priority programs of the Mayor, which is education.
 
She said that many Tagumenyo learners have been requesting their office for pocket wifi devices when the pandemic started.
 
“We are very delighted about this donation. So far, it is only Smart that offered to help us respond to the connectivity support that the LGU scholars have been requesting.  And for that, we are very grateful. We commit that these devices will really reach those who are in dire need of internet connection,” De-Asis shared.
 
She added that apart from the beneficiaries identified by their SK partners, they will also allocate some of the items to recognized youth organizations in the city.
 
“These youth organizations have both In-School Youth and Out-Of-School Youth (OSY) members. Some OSY will use the pocket WiFi for their online businesses,” she said.
 
Von Gerald Abalos, one of the recipients of the pocket wifi, is thankful as this will help him in his studies. “These pocket WiFi will really help us a lot to function as a student. We can now attend our online classes with less to no interruptions. Also, we can use this to connect with our classmates and friends whom we miss so much,” he said.
 
Meanwhile, Mayor Rellon also shared that these devices will not only help the city learners and scholars in their education, it can also help them in accessing vital information about Covid-19.
 
“This will also help in our city’s Covid-19 response and management as students can have access necessary information and guidance to remain safe during this pandemic,” he said. 
 
This initiative is part of a broad and long-standing commitment of PLDT and Smart to assist the education sector, under its flagship #NoLearnerLeftBehind advocacy. It is also aligned with PLDT’s commitment to help the country attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), particularly SDG #4: Quality Education. 

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