THERE’S a saying about how the worst of times bring out the best in us. Proof of this is the response to calls for donations of laptops or mobile phones to help students shift to digital learning.
Classes in public schools will open next week, on Oct. 5, 2020, after postponements caused by restrictions on face-to-face settings and preparations to go online. As early as July, calls for donations of spare laptops and phones were made for teachers and students to make the new setup work.
Family members and friends started or joined campaigns to ask for these devices for school children of employees, helpers and neighbors. They shared the children’s predicament over how to continue their education under the new normal.
There are people who turned to social media platforms to seek donations in cash or in kind. The hashtag #PisoParaSaLaptop was used on Facebook and Twitter by teachers and students asking for help to reach an amount to buy a laptop. They posted photos of them in uniform, their school ID, grades or diploma to show they’re moving up in the coming school year and to prove their honesty. They gave their GCash number and bank accounts. Many of these students later posted photos proudly showing off their laptops and phones.
There are institutional efforts such as the one led by Vice President Leni Robredo under the Bayanihan Para sa Distance Learning through its Angat Buhay campaign, in partnership with Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership. It asks for donations of spare smartphones, tablets, computers, laptops, printers and other gadgets. Those interested may send contact details to email@example.com with the subject: OVP Distance Learning Support.
In Cebu, one such donation drive is the Project EskwelaJUAN that aims to seek funding and collection of basic phones for at least 200 families in seven schools in the municipality of San Francisco, an island northeast of Cebu. The priority is to give to those who do not even have keypad phones for basic communication.
Nico Camerino, a volunteer for Laraw sa Isla, a youth community in the town, wrote to SunStar saying San Francisco has been left behind by technological advancements. He said there are families without the basic gadgets for communication. “If the students don’t have the needed tools for communication, there will be a considerable gap in the teaching-learning process,” he said.
Donations in kind may be sent through LBC Door-Door Delivery to Sandrea Loraine Delcoro, Municipality of San Francisco - Assessor’s Office, Southern Poblacion, San Francisco, with phone 09486170031; and in cash to GCash - Renelyn A. Tampus, 09482513960; and BPI - Ernie Hobrero, 9179196791 (ask for QR code). Go to www.facebook.com/larawsaisla for details.
There is still time to answer the call for donations before school opening on Oct. 5.