[Editor’s note: Despite the changes brought by the pandemic, Academic Year 2020-2021 formally opened on October 5. This month, GoodRap is focusing on back-to-school initiatives that were created to help students and teachers with the shift to e-learning.
In line with this, Smart partnered with ABS-CBN Foundation’s Bantay Bata 163 to give away Smart Bro LTE Pocket Wi-Fi units. Below is their press release.]
Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), the wireless unit of the Philippines’ largest and only integrated telecommunications company PLDT, has teamed up with ABS-CBN Foundation’s Bantay Bata 163 to support the connectivity needs of its scholars, especially in the pandemic.
Under this partnership, Smart has provided 400 units of Smart Bro LTE Pocket Wi-Fi pre-loaded with the mobile data package GIGA Video 299, which can help the learners with their online classes and activities.
Smart’s LTE network is present in 93% of the country’s cities and municipalities and serves 95% of the population. This LTE network is supported by PLDT’s fiber infrastructure – which now spans 395,000 kilometers as of end-September.
“Connectivity is an important tool to support education, especially in the pandemic. And Smart has been put in a unique position to address the evolving needs of our customers and beneficiaries. Our partnership with Bantay Bata is the latest in our efforts to equip Filipino students with the connectivity they need to ensure that there’s no learner left
behind as we transition into the next normal,” said Jane J. Basas, SVP and Head of Consumer Business – Wireless at Smart.
“It would really help our scholars so much because we know that now, there's no face-to-face learning, and most of the classes are happening online. So, this is such a big blessing because not only will they be able to get in touch with their teachers and fellow students, but they will also be able to access the whole online world,” said Ernie Lopez, Executive Director at Bantay Bata.
“To our beneficiaries, to our scholars who would receive these Wi-Fi units, study well. And more importantly, ipasa ang pag-asa,” Lopez added.
This partnership, along with other key initiatives of PLDT and Smart, demonstrates the application of ICT for development in support of the PLDT group-wide advocacy to promote digital inclusion. These initiatives also aim to contribute to the achievement of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, particularly UN SDG #4: providing quality education. – Rappler.com