Smart School-in-a-Bag, the mobile learning program for underserved education communities of Smart Communications (Smart), was honored alongside the global telecom industry’s top innovators at the recently concluded World Communication Award (WCA).
In ceremonies held in London by international publication Total Telecom, the Smart School-in-a-bag program won the Social Contribution Award. Other nominees under the said category included health and emergency preparedness projects such as Operation Healthy Heart by Viettel, EcoCash by Mahindra Comviva, Dronecell by Turkcell, and Building Dominica Back Better by Digicel.
A portable digital classroom, each School-in-a-bag consists of a backpack that teachers can carry while travelling different kinds of terrain and weather conditions. Its contents generally include a solar panel for charging devices, an LED television for showing educational videos, a laptop, student tablets, a smartphone for the teacher, a portable hotspot, and educational apps aligned with the curriculum of the Department of Education.
Funded by Smart and partner donors, the packages are designed to facilitate learning primarily in remote, off-grid areas in the Philippines. Program support and evaluation, as well as teachers’ trainings, are also provided.
Leveraging digital and mobile
With over 30,000 students and more than 1,000 teachers reached to-date, School-in-a-Bag recipients have reported better attendance and heightened interest in lessons.
WCA judges described School-in-a-Bag as “an intelligent and well-targeted combination of technology, content and human feelings.” “It is a great initiative by Smart that leverages on digital and mobile to strengthen and speed up education, which is key for our societies,” a judge noted.
For 20 years, the World Communication Awards have recognized innovation and excellence for global telecoms. It continues to be one of the most esteemed achievements in the industry, with new categories presented every year as more innovations are discovered. For 2018, categories reflect the latest trends of 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Internet of Things (IoT).
Organizations and individuals who wish to learn more about School-in-a-Bag may send an email to LearnSmart@smart.com.ph.