PLDT and Smart’s School-in-a-Bag (SIAB) has reached more schools in the province of Southern Leyte through the Group's sustained partnership with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and Fundación Educación y Cooperación (EDUCO).
The group recently turned over 53 SIAB packages to the Department of Education (DepEd) Southern Leyte Division to enable multigrade schools in the province, especially those hit hard by super typhoon Odette in December 2021. This donation marks the first deployment of SIAB packages purchased by UNICEF for Odette-affected areas in Visayas and Mindanao as part of the organization’s Learning Recovery Program.
“We are excited to deliver the benefits of digital learning to the chosen school beneficiaries of DepEd Southern Leyte. With our partnership with UNICEF and EDUCO, we are optimistic that we can reach more schools, especially those in underserved areas, as we advocate for inclusive education,” said Stephanie Orlino, Assistant Vice President and Head of PLDT and Smart Stakeholder Management.
“We’re proud of this important milestone in our partnership with Smart, DepEd Region 8, the Southern Leyte school division, and EDUCO. We hope that School-in-a-Bag will motivate our target 3,539 learners and 199 teachers from 53 schools to keep learning despite a challenging context brought by Typhoon Odette,” said Oyunsaihan Dendevnorov, UNICEF Representative in the Philippines.
SIAB carries a laptop, a Smart Bro LTE Pocket WiFi with load allocation, ten tablets, a teacher’s guide, and digital learning resources for elementary students. Each package has digital educational materials such as contextualized Learning Activity Sheets (LAS) and 10 #LearnSmart apps that teach literacy and numeracy in the Mother Tongue.
One of the recipient schools is Malinao Multigrade Elementary School (MMGES) in Saint Bernard. It is a multigrade school with 72 enrolled pupils, including Indigenous Peoples (IP) learners in their community.
“This is a great additional resource for our school, and I can’t wait for our pupils to use these digital tools that can add more fun to their learning experience,” said Juvelyn Telen, teacher at MMGES.
“This initiative surely brings impact to the lives of our learners as this will make them realize that the entire nation is actively involved in preparing a bright future for their generation,” said Dr. Evelyn Fetalvero, DepEd Region VIII Director.
The School-in-a-Bag project underscores PLDT and Smart’s #NoLearnerLeftBehind advocacy, which promotes inclusive education by enhancing learning in remote communities through digital technology.