PLDT-Smart Foundation partner boosts DedEd’s program


Major PLDT rollout partner FiberHome boosted PLDT-Smart Foundation’s (PSF) objective to help the Department of Education’s Last Mile Schools Program when it donated 17 Smart School-in-a-Bag kits.

“We in PLDT and Smart believe that learning should never stop. This is why we have been advocating inclusive education. Students and teachers alike are finding more creative and innovative ways to adapt to the new normal of teaching and learning. We are inspired by the efforts of the education sector in ensuring that there is no learner left behind,” PLDT SVP and group head for Home Consumer Business Menardo Jimenez Jr.  said in a press statement.

“We are touched beyond words to receive the School-in-a-Bag package and the free capacity training for teachers under [the] CVIF-Dynamic Learning Program made possible by the generosity of Smart, PLDT-Smart Foundation and FiberHome. We are grateful for your support in ensuring that schools have the opportunity to thrive amid the pandemic,” said Rebecca Pagcaliwagan, the principal of Conde Labac Integrated School, one of the recipients of the School-in-a-Bag package.

The School-in-a-Bag is designed to provide access to technology, connectivity, content and a disaster-resilient pedagogy even for schools in remote areas. Each water-resistant backpack carries a laptop and pocket Wi-Fi for the teachers and 10 tables for the students, all pre-loaded with interactive, multimedia content accessible even if offline.

Through various initiatives implemented with its parent company, and with the support of external organizations, PLDT’s wireless unit Smart Communications deployed 86 School-in-a-Bag packages in 2020 alone. Since its launch in 2016, around 300 bags have been deployed, benefiting over 83,000 students and more than 4,000 teachers in last-mile communities.

“More than the devices, we are actually equipping the packages with learning content and a disaster- and pandemic-resilient strategy of teaching called CVIF-Dynamic Learning Program. School-in-a-Bag has become instrumental in helping us advocate for adoption of other schools of this DepEd-endorsed pedagogy,” Smart Community Relations AVP and head Stephanie Orlino said.

PSF president Esther Santos thanked FiberHome for their generous support. “We value education as one of our core advocacy pillars in PLDT and Smart. We are thankful for partners like FiberHome which share our vision in ensuring that no learner is left behind amid the pandemic. These 17 School-in-a-Bag donations will truly go a long way and will reach far-flung communities that are most in need,” Santos said. “Sharing the same values with PLDT-Smart Foundation to be of help to the community, FiberHome also desires to elevate the standards of education, information and communication technology. Our vision is to help provide access to education for all of our learners in the Philippines, especially those from geographically isolated disadvantaged areas,” said FiberHome CEO Johnny Jiang.

An information and communication network products and solutions provider, FiberHome is one of PLDT’s longtime partners in delivering excellent customer service. The School-in-a-Bag program of Smart reinforces the PLDT group-wide commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainability Development Goals (SDG), particularly quality education.

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