US donates P10-M gadgets to remote schools in PH

Published May 19, 2022, 1:31 PM

by Betheena Unite

One hundred kits containing laptop computers, tablets, and pocket wifi amounting to over P10 million were donated by the United States to schools in several provinces in the country.

(Photo courtesy of the US Embassy in the Philippines)

Through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the US turned over 100 school-in-a-bag kits worth over P10.4 million to the Department of Education (DepEd), the US Embassy in the Philippines said Thursday, May 19.

Each kit contains a laptop computer, 10 tablets with one terabyte of memory each, and pocket wifi preloaded with P500 worth of internet access.

The kits will be distributed by the DepEd in select schools in Bicol, Western Visayas, Maguindanao, Cotabato Special Geographic Area, Cotabato City, and other schools associated with USAID’s remote learning study.

“Through the Smart School-in-a-Bag initiative, we will be able to advance digital literacy amid and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in remote areas that lack access to technology,” USAID Philippines Acting Deputy Mission Director Brandon Miller said.

The tablets will be loaded with e-resources such as DepEd TV episodes, interactive literacy primers in mother tongue languages, USAID-supported e-books, and other digital resources that can bridge the digital divide and improve early grade reading, especially for students in the most remote areas of the country.

“We thank our partners, USAID, Smart Communications, and PBSP for this undertaking. Truly, bayanihan is very much alive in DepEd even as we face very difficult challenges to make sure that learning will continue. We recognize the value of harnessing the generosity of our partners and stakeholders in improving learning outcomes of our learners, especially in Last Mile Schools,” DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio said.

Miller, on the other hand, said they will “continue to forge partnerships with the private sector, local government units, and local communities so that every child has access to a quality education.”

The project was implemented through the partnership of USAID and Smart Communications and Philippine Business for Social Progress.