(SPOT.ph) The academic school year is slated to begin on August 24—but in a very different manner than were used to. Face-to-face (read: in person) classes are still not allowed as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, which means that schools nationwide will be adopting “modular” distance learning. Basically, the Department of Education will rely heavily on distributing learning modules to students, either printed or digital, while teachers will interact with students through the screens or airwaves (a.k.a. blended learning).
The shift has raised several worries, especially in terms of accessibility for students who do not have the proper equipment needed. There have been plenty of calls to provide kids with gadgets—remember #pisoParaSaLaptop that popped up on Twitter as students took to social media to ask for donations? Well, there are other ways you can help out, too. We round up a couple of initiatives that aim to help kids adjust and be equipped to the new way of learning. Just note: If you’d like to donate an old laptop or something similar, the Department of Education (DepEd) has listed down the minimum specs recommended.
Have old laptops and other gadgets? Check out these 10 initiatives that aim to help students with e-learning:
Bayanihan para sa Distance Learning
The Office of the Vice President opened their doors for donations in July. If you have old gadgets lying around—that are still working—you can send your name, contact details, and list of items to donate to firstname.lastname@example.org or via their form and wait for their team to get back to you. The VP’s office is accepting items such as smartphones, tablets, desktop computers, laptops, charging cables, printers, speakers, and more. You can check out the complete list of items you can donate on their Facebook page.
Streets to Schools
Students from the University of Santo Tomas have put up their own donation drive for old gadgets through the Streets to Schools organization, a program that was started by junior high students Qjiel Mariano, Alianza Salvador, and Anthea Terrenal with their adviser Caesar Anthony E. Yoma. You can donate tablets, laptops, and similar devices. If you have broken items that can still be fixed, you can contact them so they can check with their partners for repairs. Just send them a message through their Facebook page.
One Gadget One Child
If you have secondhand smartphones, laptops, or tablets lying around, then you may want to donate them to One Gadget One Child. This initiative was started by Menchie Hermosisima of Cebu City. The 54-year-old began the campaign in June and now has a team of 20 volunteers. They are currently working with different non-profits to support her cause. If you’d like to donate, just note that the drop-off points for old gadgets are in Cebu. You can also donate to Hermosisima’s bank account; funds gathered will be used for the same efforts.
Kapawa Para sa Kapwa
Consisting of students from the Angat Buhay Young Leaders in Government Fellowship—a program of the Office of the Vice President and the Freidrich Ebert Stiftung—the Ladiyawan youths have spearheaded a gadget donation for communities in Taytay, Rizal and Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental. The group aims to establish three learning hubs and are hoping to get at least 15 gadgets for each through the drive. You can contact them through their form.
Ayala Foundation and PIOPIO
Local brand PIOPIO has started a fundraising initiative to equip the student beneficiaries of the Ayala Foundation. You can purchase “donation tickets” on their website, with prices from P200 to P20,000. Three donors will be chosen to receive some PIOPIO goodies as a token of gratitude. The funds gathered will be used for buying tools and equipment for e-learning, as well as hosting workshops to help parents and students make the shift to online classes. Plus, you can donate old gadgets directly to the Ayala Foundation office in Makati City. You can contact Abi Morales at 0975-983-8076 if you'd like to donate.
Founded by a group of working Law students, this initiative’s goal is to provide students with pocket WiFi devices for access to the Internet anywhere they are. The group is responsible for linking students with those who wish to sponsor them. You can pretty much guarantee a student’s Internet access for the entire semester by donating P3,999 or purchasing a WiFi device for them at P999. Sponsorships for the initial batch were finalized in July, but the group states that there will be another batch for 100 students.
Gadget Mo Para sa Distance Learning Ko
Parañaque National High School sent out a call for mobile phones for their students in July after they found out that around 600 of their kids don’t have one. Laptops and tablets are definitely welcome as well. You can contact the school’s principal, Gerry Lumaban or Brigada Eskwela coordinator Percila Mislang if you’d like to donate. The local government has stated that P500 monthly mobile load will be given to the city’s public school students.
Kaagapay sa Pag-Aaral
The University of the Philippines started a drive to support more than 5,600 students across their schools who can’t afford the equipment needed for online learning. Around 1,600 students have zero resources while 4,000 have been left financially vulnerable by the pandemic. Funds gathered through the campaign will be used to equip these Iskolar ng Bayan. You can also donate gadgets at drop-off centers in UP. You can contact the Kaagapay secretariat through 0916-723-1200 or email@example.com.
This gadget collection drive was started with Brigada Eskwela of Marikina City. The initiative aims to equip 100 Grade 4 students of the Kapitan Moy Elementary School with the tools they need to shift to online learning. You can donate either in-kind—load cards and pocket WiFi is their priority, but laptops and tablets are sure to be needed, too—or choose from monetary donation packages. Fill out the form to coordinate your donation or contact them through 0908-610-2967 or 0915-714-4444.
Ayuda Pang Eskwela
This Facebook group started by Diane Reyes was made with the goal of connecting students in need to donors who would like to help them out. It started on August 1 and was able to raise a total of P310,068 for 63 students nationwide—with which they were able to purchase necessary gadgets and Internet connection. You can join the private online community on Facebook, where they also hold financial literacy talks for the students.