A citizen-led initiative has benefited selected students in Western Visayas faced with the challenge of lack of equipment, as the mode of education shifted to blended and distant learning amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
The initiative dubbed EduKonek started the first week of June when an almost PHP500,000 fund was gathered from donors, said Keith Censoro, local coordinator, in an interview Thursday.
“As local coordinators, we nominate schools that meet the requirements to include learning continuity plan that includes a strategy requiring mobile technology, identified need for gadgets based on their initial school enrollment data and answers in our school form and internet connectivity and electricity in the area,” he said.
Each recipient school received 10 units of mobile phones, 10 SIM cards, and 20 load cards.
The school serves as custodian of the phones and the school principal has the prerogative to assign them to students in need of the gadget.
Two schools in Western Visayas were chosen as recipients during the first batch — the Nueva Valencia National High School in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras; and Gama Integrated School in Calinog, Iloilo. The Jose Facultad Memorial National High School in Pototan, Iloilo was picked as one of the five chosen schools for the second batch.
The donations for the Gama Integrated School were turned over last June 26. Censoro said the school has around 100 learners.
The units were assigned to selected learners in Junior High (Grade 7 and Grade 8) because the elementary curriculum will be adopting the modular mode of learning.
They also have to wait for the schedule of the donations for the second batch.
Since the load that was provided is not enough, then the school has the option to outsource or look for donations to sustain the needed data for the online learning, Censoro added.
While EduKonek is a new project, he said that it seeks to support public schools nationwide.
For inquiries, the public is encouraged to send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. (PNA)