Smart Communications and collaborator Cebu Technological University Argao received the prestigious Anvil Award presented annually by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines for its entry “#LearnSmart: Digitizing Local Language and Culture by the Community, for the Community” which includes the KAALAM mobile literacy application.
What began as a research endeavor in 2016 by academics of CTU Argao has now made its way toward revitalizing local language through tales and making these available to thousands with a single tap or click.
The app was launched locally on June 15, 2018 at the Cabecera de Argao and nationally on December 7, 2018 in Makati City.
Kaalam contains literacy materials in the Sinugbuanong Binisaya including the local stories contributed by CTU Argao and downloadable through an Android phone via Google Play.
Initially, it meant to address the problems of in-service and pre-service teachers to localize and indigenize Mother Tongue-Based Multi-Lingual Education in the context of the Enhanced Basic Education Curriculum (K-12), but once higher goal was concocted, CTU Argao specifically provided the contents, educational resources, storyboard and voice over talents for the app.
In May of 2017, Smart Communications had the Bachelor of Elementary Education students attend the 3-day workshop on storytelling and story writing using local tales, which capped with a recital attended by prospective partners of the project.
By using the digital platform, the campus’ extension project, under the LAMDAG Component of the PAGLAUM extension program, dubbed as “Istorya Mo, Nagpaabot Ako” makes educational materials within easy reach to individuals while preserving local cultural heritage among speakers of Sinugbuanong Binisaya.
The mobile literacy application experience with partners and other collaborators as the Local Government Unit of Argao and University of Cebu Banilad is comparable with what Atty. Ma. Jane Paredes of Smart Communications calls as one where all the “stars aligned perfectly and everything fell into place seamlessly.” Lynette Camello/UICPA