PLDT and its wireless arm Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) supported the recent launch of the Sarangani Moves Toward Accessible, Responsive, and Technology-aided Education (SMART-ED) initiative of the Department of Education (DepEd) Sarangani Division, one of the Group’s long-time partners in education.

In a video message, DepEd Sarangani Curriculum Implementation Division Chief  Donna S. Panes talked about SMART-ED as a gamechanger in education. She said, “This initiative is our bold move to manifest our great desire to elevate the quality of education in Sarangani and to make our learners ready to face the challenges of the future.”

During the SMART-ED launch in General Santos City, DepEd Sarangani officials tackled the importance of transforming education in the Philippines into a more innovative and modernized landscape. The program aims to encourage more educators to incorporate technology and modernization in every classroom, promoting digital literacy among students. 

“Supporting the education sector has long been a key priority area for PLDT and Smart, particularly in the use of technology and innovation to provide access to inclusive, quality learning. Our support for SMART-ED of DepEd-Sarangani underscores this commitment, and we look forward to a stronger partnership with DepEd to achieve our goal of having #NoLearnerLeftBehind,” according to Stephanie Orlino, head of Stakeholder Management at PLDT and Smart. 

DepEd Sarangani has started distributing tablets and TV sets to SMART-ED pilot schools, and implemented changes to their classrooms to encourage collaboration among  learners. 

PLDT and Smart have previously provided School-in-a-Bag packages to seven schools in the province under the program Learning Resource on WiFi Hub for Expanded e-Learning in Sarangani (LR on WHEeLS). Through LR on WHEeLS, DepEd Sarangani teachers have also been using the pandemic-resistant pedagogy Central Visayan Institute Foundation – Dynamic Learning Program, which Smart has been endorsing. Together, they also collaborated to develop mobile apps for learning, to help promote the use of technology in education.

These programs emphasize the PLDT Group’s commitment to help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No. 4: Quality Education.