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Smart, DepEd Sign Deal For Data Connectivity Of 1 Million Teachers Nationwide

Smart, DepEd Sign Deal For Data Connectivity Of 1 Million Teachers Nationwide
To dramatize poor internet connection for blended learning, teachers of the Sto. Niño National High School in Batangas City climb onto the school’s roof on Oct. 5, 2020 to send their requirements for blended learning. Photo by Edd Gumban, The Philippine STAR

Smart Communications Inc., the wireless arm of telecommunications giant PLDT Inc., has signed a partnership agreement with the Department of Education (DepEd) to ensure the connectivity of public school teachers.

With the scarcity of resources, PLDT said there are teachers who tap into their own savings to load up on data connectivity to conduct online classes.

With its partnership with DepEd, the telco said one million public school teachers nationwide would get the data connectivity they need to make their daily teaching tasks easier and practicable.

“Just as much as we believe that it is the right of Filipino students to stay in school, we are committed to delivering solutions for the Department of Education so that they may continue supporting the faculty of government learning institutions across the country,” PLDT and Smart president and chief executive officer Alfredo Panlilio said.

“Giving them access to the fastest and most reliable internet connectivity that enables their own learning and development, and empowers their online classes as they teach our youth wherever they are, is our way of honoring our public school teachers for their heroic efforts and sacrifices,” he added.

Panlilio said the deal is an important opportunity to partner with the government in ensuring that no learner is left behind.

Subsidized by DepEd through the funds sourced from Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2, activated SIM cards pre-loaded with Smart Giga Study plans will be distributed to public school teachers for their use in online teaching and learning, and interacting with their students.

“This is part of our commitment to deliver the promises of the Bayanihan 2…Through the support of our President (Duterte), our lawmakers and our field offices, DepEd has ensured that our personnel and teachers can efficiently provide basic education services to our learners despite the situation,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said.

Smart Giga Study plans give users access to a selection of learning apps and productivity tools, offering access to Google Suite, which includes Google Classroom, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Gmail, Meet and Drive.

The project will equip teachers with the necessary tools and connectivity to enable them to provide quality online teaching to students.

It also supports DepEd’s vision of making public schools resilient and more conducive to learning in the future.

“Teachers mold the holistic development of our children and this is why we endeavor to assist them in turn with the best technologies that will allow them to give our learners better guidance. We are one with DepEd in ensuring that the future of education is fully backed by the necessary support both the educators and students need,” PLDT senior vice president and head of PLDT and Smart Enterprise Business Groups Jovy Hernandez said.