Smart and the Rotary Club of Cebu present a School-in-a-Bag (SIAB) to school beneficiaries. From left to right are Rotary Club of Cebu President Bing Martinez, Rotary Club of Cebu SIAB Project Manager David Barnes, Gilutongan Integrated School Head Ma. Glynn Sumagang, Department of Education Cebu Province Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Rhea Mar Angud, Gilutongan IS teachers Gemayel Hayden Cañete and Ronald Baynosa, and Smart Public Affairs Head Ramon Isberto.
A number of public schools located in remote areas in Cebu will soon benefit from digital learning after the Rotary Club of Cebu and Rotary Club of Daegu-Taebaek in South Korea sponsored 18 sets of Smart School-in-a-Bag (SIAB).
Created by Smart Communications, the SIAB is a backpack containing a laptop, tablets, TV, pocket Wi-Fi, and curriculum-based educational content. The package also includes teacher training and yearlong monitoring. For school beneficiaries without electricity, the SIAB includes a solar panel with batteries.
Since 2016, Smart has donated and has called on individuals and organizations to sponsor School-in-a-Bag units for underserved schools all over the country. Each bag costs P100,000.
The Rotary Club of Cebu added printers and more educational materials for its school beneficiaries.
“Education particularly for kids is very important. We need to provide 21st century education for our schoolchildren,” said Rotary Club of Cebu President Bing Martinez. He added that he was inspired to support the Smart program after seeing how students at the US school where his daughter teaches are each provided a tablet.
Cebu Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Rhea Mar A. Angtud said she is grateful to Smart and the Rotary Club of Cebu for the digital learning bundles and other forms of assistance they have provided to the Department of Education. She added that the beneficiaries they selected are schools located in the farthest islets and highland areas.
“Our islet schools are so far away. Some of them are un-energized so the solar panels will be useful. There are teachers who are multi-grade. This means only one teacher handles kindergarten as well as the first and second grades. This will really be a big help to them,” Angtud said.
Miguelito J. Inso, a teacher at Malingin Elementary School which is located in a valley deep within the Balamban mountains, said, “Dako kaayo ni tabang sa among eskuylahan. Ang mga bata makamao na gyud mogamit og computers. Dili na sila ma ignorante. (This is a big help to our school. Our kids will now learn how to use computers. They will catch up.)”
Among the positive results reported by earlier recipients of the School-in-a-Bag are better student attendance, heightened attention, and improvements in their behavior, said Smart Public Affairs Head Ramon R. Isberto.
He added that although the first thing people notice when they look at the package are the tablets and other devices, it is the teachers who make the system successful.
Those interested to sponsor a School-in-a-Bag may email TechnoCart@smart.com.ph for more information.