What will a hundred thousand pesos buy? Any teenager might be tempted to splurge on the latest smartphone (or two) or a high-end notebook pc. But for Sociology student Micaela Gavino, Mai to her friends, P100,000 buys hope. Not for her but for at least a hundred students at Kapitan Moy Elementary School in Marikina. That is why Mai and her friends raised funds and partnered with Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) to purchase Smart Bro LTE Pocket WiFi devices that will be used by her chosen beneficiaries for online learning.
“I’m a firm believer that no student should be left behind especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the ongoing quarantine rules in the Philippines, students and educators are forced to transition to remote platforms of learning,” she said.
Serving others is something that Mai is familiar with as she’s also a student leader at the University of the Philippines Diliman. The twenty-year old college sophomore is also very active in student organizations on campus. While waiting for classes to resume this semester, she broached the idea of starting a gadget donation drive to her four friends from high school while they were catching up online. She said her heart bled seeing difficulties faced by students in accessing digital school materials.
“We deemed it was important to check on our own community and see how public school students were faring with the new demands in education,” she added.
And so they decided to push through with the fund drive. It didn’t come as a surprise when the friends chose Kapitan Moy Elementary School (KMES) in Marikina City as the beneficiary. After all, they’re no strangers to KMES. They used to teach Math, Science, English and Values Education there as part of their previous high school’s outreach program. Since the local government has promised to provide tablets for students from Grades 4 to 6, school officials suggested donating WiFi devices instead to give them access to online modules.
Mai and her friends launched Salindiwa: Donation Drive back in July. They were planning to buy a hundred pocket WiFi gadgets that will be donated to deserving Grades 4-6 students of KMES. They needed at least P100,000 to do that. So far, they’ve pooled over P95,000.00. But they didn’t have to wait further. Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) gladly gave them a discount and donated two devices in support of their cause.
“Smart is always looking for ways to work with the community in this time of crisis. With schools migrating to blended learning, we support efforts of students to help fellow students gain access to educational materials online. We believe that even in the time of the pandemic no learner should be left behind,” said Melvin Nubla, Dept. Head/VP Go-to-Market & Subscriber Management at Smart.
Choosing Smart Bro LTE Pocket WiFi came easy for Mai, “Smart offers straightforward and affordable packages that are geared towards students.”
Smart Bro LTE Pocket WiFi is the ideal companion for students in the new normal. The device provides them great freedom and mobility to connect anytime, anywhere. They’re no longer tied down to just one location to log on to virtual classes. The versatile device allows up to 10 connections, making it possible to hook up more gadgets for multiple online sessions. Smart Bro LTE Pocket WiFi is best loaded with GIGA Pro packages through the new Smart app. Students can bundle their device with GIGA Study Pro 199 to maximize access to learning tools. The package comes with 6GB of open access data for seven days plus 3GB per day for study essentials such as Google Classroom, Meet, Google Search, YouTube, MS Teams and Microsoft 365.
Soon 102 students from KMES will receive their Smart Bro LTE Pocket WiFi units, just in time for the opening of classes. But Mai and her friends aren’t done yet. To make sure that their beneficiaries have continuous access to online materials, they will be providing them with monthly allowance of Smart Bro load to cover data requirements for the rest of the school year. That’s why they plan to ramp up the fund drive to keep the program sustainable. And if they could get enough donations, the friends are eyeing to extend the program to more students of KMES. #SMARTAko #SimpleSMARTAko