Philippines: SMART Signs MOA with DepEd to Include More Schools in ICT Program

Apr. 17, 2007

[MANILA/APRIL 2007] Leading wireless services provider Smart Communications, Inc. (SMART) will expand the Smart Schools Program to include 50 more public high schools and 30 public elementary schools nationwide this year.

The expansion of the Smart Schools Program was formalized during the signing of an addendum to a Memorandum of Agreement between SMART, the Department of Education and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).

Education is a societal concern and not the responsibility only of government. We are glad that our call for help is getting unprecedented support from the private sector. After all, the quality of the graduates impacts greatly on the human resources of corporations, said Jesli A. Lapus, Department of Education Secretary.

The response to Smart Schools has been very encouraging. Teachers of our partner schools have requested us to expand the program to cover more schools. We take that to be a clear endorsement of the programs value and relevance, said Napoleon L. Nazareno, SMART President and CEO.

Under DepEds Adopt-a-School Program, SMART, DepEd and PBSP first entered into an agreement in August 2005 to implement the Smart Schools Program, where SMART and PBSP will provide teachers of selected public high schools in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with access to the Internet, access to educational content, and training.

To date, 100 public high schools nationwide are SMART Schools Program partners.

The decision to expand the program to include public elementary schools under the Smart Schools Jr. Program was also prompted by the suggestions of the principals of partner public high schools who want their elementary counterparts to enjoy the same benefits, said Ramon R. Isberto, SMART public affairs group head.

Under the Smart Schools Program, SMART constructs or upgrades computer laboratories into Smart Teachers Learning Resource Centers and provides free Internet connection for one year.

To ensure that partner schools can make the most of the Internet as a learning resource, the Smart Schools website ( was launched in March 2006. The site offers access to online content that teachers can use for research, in making class presentations and in exchanging best practices with colleagues.

Aside from continuously updating content and encouraging user contributions, the Smart Schools Program also offers web hosting and has sponsored the Project Gutenberg mirror in the Philippines. In cooperation with content partners, SMART hopes to make local online content available to educators.

The training component of Smart Schools promotes the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in basic education. Partner schools are trained in Basic Computer Literacy, ICT Integration, Basic Troubleshooting and Maintenance, Leadership and Basic Web Page Design. Under Smart Schools, educators are challenged to apply their acquired knowledge and skills to ultimately benefit their students.

By involving its partner schools under sister program SMART Wireless Engineering Education Program (SWEEP), Smart has been able to train more than 4,800 public high school teachers nationwide in basic computer literacy. SWEEP partner schools were also given trainings on Visual Basic.Net (, Networking and PC Troubleshooting which they, in turn, cascade to the Smart Schools Program partners.

Last month, SMART also launched Smart Mentors, a specialized training and development program for faculty members of Smart Schools Program partners. It includes a full scholarship to an 11-month action research course that can earn teachers a Master of Arts degree in Instructional Design and Technology.

Twenty-five scholars have already been chosen from Smart Schools teachers who applied for the scholarship nationwide. They will become the new breed of mentors actively participating in training and in developing and implementing new Smart Schools Program initiatives.

The Smart Schools Program is implemented in cooperation with PBSP, SWEEP and Foundation, with support from DepEd. @

Press Release
Contact: Mon Isberto/Public Affairs

811-0211; 511-3101

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