Mobile app to support alternative learning in the Philippines

Smart department head for community partnerships Darwin Flores and DepEd BALS director Dr. Carolina Guerrero review the ALS mobile app during a workshop.

The Philippines' Department of Education (DepEd) and Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) have partnered in pioneering mobile technologies to help teachers across the country.

The country has more than 6,000 mobile teachers who students residing in remote areas. Working under the Bureau of Alternative Learning System (BALS), they handle non-formal education classes to individuals children and even adults who cannot go through the formal classroom learning.

Smart, through application partner Orange Fix, has developed a mobile application that will allow these educators to access teaching materials anytime, anywhere, online or offline from their mobile devices like tablets. The ALS mobile app is free-of-charge and is bundled with low-cost tablets powered by Internet connection.

“Through this collaboration, we hope to democratize access to devices, connectivity and content,” said Darwin Flores, Smart department head for community partnerships. “This is just the start. Smart will soon be introducing mobile learning for students as well.

“This would make the jobs of our mobile teachers a little easier. Because they are mobile, having all their teaching materials in a tablet would be more convenient than them having to carry around all those books and other teaching paraphernalia when they go to their students,” said BALS director Dr. Carolina Guerrero.