School-in-a-Bag uplifts early grade learning

Published July 26, 2022, 9:54 AM

by Len Amadora

SIAB in San Aurelio Elementary School

Supporting early grade learning across schools in northern and central Luzon,PLDT, Smart and long-time partner USAID, through RTI International, recently turned over one School-in-a-Bag (SIAB) each to San Rafael Elementary School (SRES) in Tarlac City, Tarlac and San Aurelio Elementary School (SAES) in Balungao, Pangasinan.

The School-in-a-Bag is a portable digital classroom that brings learning to last-mile schools and supports the Department of Education’s efforts in improving early grade education. It highlights PLDT and Smart’s commitment to ensure that there is #NoLearnerLeftBehind through Information and Communications Technology, content, pedagogy, and capacity building.

SIAB in San Rafael Elementary School

Each School-in-a-Bag contains a laptop for the teacher, tablets preloaded with #LearnSmart apps making use of the students’ mother tongue and other learning content that can be accessed even while offline including USAID’s All Children Reading eResource, and a Smart LTE pocket WiFi kit which teachers can use to download additional educational materials.

With about 400 students expected to return to San Aurelio Elementary School in August, SAES Principal Rodolfo Caceres, Jr. shares, “Our students who don’t have the means to buy gadgets will have the opportunity to experience online learning through the tablets equipped with learning applications inside our School-in-a-Bag.” Meanwhile, SRES Grade 6 teacher, Hilda Dizon said, “The School-in-a-Bag supports our efforts in ensuring that students, especially those who may not have access to gadgets, will be given the opportunity to continue learning.” Both schools have implemented limited face-to-face classes and blended learning.

USAID through RTI International is closely working with PLDT and Smart to deploy 100 SIAB packages in hard-to-access areas across the Philippines.

The PLDT group is committed to help the Philippines achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) No. 4 on Inclusive Quality Education.