Smart Introduces Mother Tongue-Based apps

Interactive apps facilitate learning and help keep local language and culture alive

Smart Communications continues to champion digital learning with the launch of mother tongue-based mobile applications.

The five literacy apps, namely Bahay Kubo, Kaalam, Taallam and Tahderiyyah, and Matigsalug were developed by Smart in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd), local stakeholders, colleges and universities.

The highly accessible apps promote diversity as well as inclusive education. “Smart believes mobile technology is uniquely positioned to help facilitate learning opportunities, which is why we have tailored initiatives to help address the needs of our partner learning communities,” said Ramon Isberto, PLDT-Smart Public Affairs Group Head.

Digital Education: No Learner Left Behind

The Bahay Kubo interactive app teaches Tagalog alphabet and numbers through fun games and stories. It is a collective effort between Smart and Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Council, an attached agency of the Department of Education.

The Kaalam (Cebuano term for ‘knowledge’) app features folk tales such as Ang Diwata sa Konta and Ang Kwentas ni Ingkco Candido, retold by residents of Argao town in Cebu province. The application was developed in partnership with DepEd Cebu City and Cebu Province, local government of Argao, Cebu Technological University – Argao Campus, and University of Cebu-Banilad.

Developed specifically for Filipino Muslims, the Ta’allam (Arabic term for ‘to learn’) features reading and counting exercises along with Islamic prayers such as Dua, Surah, Salah, Wudhu. It was created by content and multimedia partners from DepEd General Santos and Sarangani, local government unit of Sarangani, Mercy Foundation, Young Moro Professionals, and ACLC College Gensan. 

The first literacy app for the Bangsamoro children, the Tahderiyyah (Arabic term for ‘Kindergarten’) meanwhile features stories with Islamic values and expressions on top of Arabic alphabet and number games. Its developing team consists of reps from the Bangsamoro Development Agency, FEU Institute of Technology, and Teach Peace Build Peace Movement.

Smart also developed Matigsalug, the first tribal app of its kind. It showcases songs, dances, and chants from the Matigsalug tribe of Davao and Bukidnon. Through the app, users can learn how to properly pronounce Matigsalug letters and numbers and write them through app-tracing games. It was created in partnership with Matigsalug tribe of Sitio Contract, Datu Salumay, Marilog District in Davao, Pamulaan Center of IP Education, ACLC College Davao and Gensan, and Skeptron Business Solutions.

More literacy apps are slated for roll out in 2019, which includes Sanut Ilokano for Ilokano-speaking regions, Gnare Blaan and Tagakaulo for children of Sarangani, and the Singsing Kapampangan app.

The mother tongue based apps are available for download on Google Play.

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