Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and the local government of Sarangani have teamed up to develop Gnarè Blaan, an interactive literacy app that utilizes technology to teach young learners about basic literacy, culture, and folklore of the Blaan tribe.
The mother tongue-based mobile innovation was recently launched on Google Play, making it the 10th app to be developed under the #LearnSmart education program of PLDT’s wireless services subsidiary.
Gnarè Blaan includes interactive alphabet and number exercises, educational games, and tribal dances, songs, and prayers. DepEd Sarangani’s IP Education Division (IPED), Sarangani Provinces’ Sulong Tribu Program, Provincial Tourism Council (PTC), University of Southeastern Philippines, and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) helped with content development. ACLC College of General Santos, Skeptron Business Solutions, and the Brigada Group of Companies helped improve and create the actual digital assets for the application, while Blaan IP teachers, tribal council members, and other experts validated the contents.
Jenelyn Callaga, a teacher of Indigenous People (IP) from Calay IP School in Malapatan, performed a demo-teaching of the mobile innovation during a ceremonial launch held in time for the Munato Indigenous Peoples Day and 17th Munato Festival. She discovered that students are more curious and willing to learn when using the interactive app.
“IP learners were amused with how Gnarè Blaan communicates in a language that they are able to understand,” Callaga said, adding that the animated tribal stories were a big hit with the kids.
The Gnarè Blaan app is part of Smart’s initiative with local communities nationwide to support the implementation of mother tongue-based multilingual education. “Our goal is to utilize technology in aiding the education of young Filipino learners,” said Stephanie Orlino, AVP for public affairs at Smart.
For more information about Smart’s mother tongue-based literacy apps, simply type LearnSmart on Google Play or send an email to LearnSmart@smart.com.ph.