‘School-in-a-Bag’ reaches Tagbanua children
For most Tagbanua children in the village of Daan in Coron, Palawan province, learning means walking long distances to get to a schoolhouse with no electricity, and making do with the most basic educational tools.
Recently, however, some 200 children from Banuang Daan Elementary School were introduced to the internet and a high-tech way of learning. They received School-in-a-Bag, a digital learning tool package developed by Smart Communications for schools in far-flung areas.
Each package contains a solar panel for electricity, a laptop, five tablets, a mobile phone, a pocket WiFi with starter load, a LED TV and learning modules.
Installed in the tablets is the Batibot app, which features games that aid in teaching children from kindergarten to Grade 2 basic concepts like matching, sorting and grouping, and identifying shapes, colors, numbers, alphabet and letter sounds.
The School-in-a-Bag package was donated to the Coron school by financial consultant Leah Quimson, longtime supporter of education-related charity work.
“Many kids really don’t have much. We tend to take this for granted because it is easy for us to have access to technology,” she said.
The donation is like extending her family: her 5-year-old son has been using the Batibot app.
Developed by Smart in partnership with Community of Learners Foundation and OrangeFix, the Batibot mobile application is the first learning app in Filipino that is aligned with the national kindergarten curriculum of the Department of Education.
Data from the department show that some 6,000 schools without electricity are difficult to reach and are generally disconnected.
“If we can all work together to reach out to those schools, then their students will have a fighting chance,” said Stephanie Orlino, Smart Community Partnerships senior manager.
The program has so far distributed 18 School-in-a-Bag packages since last year, 12 of them courtesy of Smart.
Fourteen more School-in-a-Bag packages are set to be distributed in the coming months.
Individuals and groups interested in bringing the gift of digital learning to more schools by sponsoring a School-in-a-Bag may send an e-mail to TechnoCart@smart.com.ph.
Each package costs P100,000.
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