Students of Gilutongan Integrated School can now use mobile devices and digital content for learning, thanks to a Smart School-in-a-Bag donation by Rotarians.
The tablet has become such a ubiquitous everyday item that even pre-school children know how to operate one.
Not 15-year-old Elmie Tampus, a sixth-grader at Gilutongan Integrated School (GIS) in Cordova, Cebu. Many of the students at the school located on an islet have never held a tablet or computer.
Thanks to kindhearted people, they will now be able to use mobile devices and discover learning through digital technology.
GIS is one of 18 schools chosen by the Rotary Club of Cebu and the Rotary Club of Daegu-Taebaek in South Korea to receive a Smart School-in-a-Bag. This is a portable digital classroom designed to facilitate learning in remote areas, using mobile technology coupled with innovative 21st century teaching pedagogy.
Created by Smart Communications, the School-in-a-Bag is an oversize backpack containing a laptop, tablets, TV, pocket Wi-Fi, and curriculum-based educational content. The donation is inclusive of teacher training and yearlong monitoring.
For schools without electricity, a solar panel and batteries are also included in the kit, which costs P100,000 each.
Smart, which has been donating School-in-a-Bag units to schools all over the country since 2016, has called for more sponsors among individuals and organizations, for the benefit of thousands more public schools.
Cebu Province Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Leah B. Apao said the Department of Education’s main goal is to develop 21st-century skills in each learner. However, she said, achieving this in far-flung areas without access to technology is very challenging.
For example, Gilutongan Barangay Captain Miraluna Canete recounted, her daughter struggled with computer-related work when she went to college in the mainland.
GIS teacher-in-charge Maria Glynn Sumagang is optimistic that with School-in-a-Bag, her students will not be left behind. “Even from our islet, our children can have hands-on experience with technology, like their counterparts in the mainland,” she said.
“What’s important is the attitude,” said Stephen Chian, acting president for the Rotary Club of Cebu. He encouraged the students to study hard. “Wherever you are, so long as you have the drive and the ‘I can do it’ attitude, you can be champions for Cebu and the Philippines.”
To sponsor a Smart School-in-a-Bag, email PublicAffairs@smart.com.ph and check out Smart Communities on Facebook for more details.