US donates P10.4 million school-in-a-bag kits

MANILA, Philippines — School-in-a-bag kits worth P10.4 million have been turned over to the Department of Education (DepEd) by the US Agency for International Development.

USAID-Philippines acting deputy mission director Brandon Miller, Smart Communications senior vice president Alex Caeg and Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) executive director Elvin Uy handed over the kits to DepEd Undersecretary for curriculum and instruction Diosdado San Antonio and Undersecretary for external partnerships Tonisito Umali.

Each of the 100 kits contains a laptop computer, 10 tablets each with a terabyte of memory and pocket Wi-Fi preloaded with P500 worth of internet access.

“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,” Miller said.

“We 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,” he added.

DepEd will distribute the kits to select schools in Bicol, Western Visayas, Maguindanao, Cotabato and schools associated with the USAID’s remote learning study.

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“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,” San Antonio said. ”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.”

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