State-owned University of the Philippines (UP) has launched a technology-fueled fund-raising initiative meant to help the school’s poor students buy laptops computers and Internet access for distance learning.
The “Kaagapay sa Pag-aaral ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan” or #KaagapayUP program was formally unveiled on Tuesday, July 21, in a virtual event attended by top UP officials.
UP administrators said there are around 1,600 financially challenged students who do not have the resources to acquire a computer and stable Internet access. Furthermore, there are some 4,000 students from households categorized “vulnerable”, whose incomes cannot fully support these needs due to the effects of the pandemic.
UP, via a Memorandum from the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs dated June 4, 2020, has adopted remote teaching and learning for academic year (AY) 2020-2021, with the possibility of blended remote and face-to-face learning in courses with discipline-specific skills (i.e. laboratory, studio, practicum, etc.), provided public health requirements are met.
The project aims to raise funds to provide poor students with their own laptop computers and Internet connections that can help them access UP’s remote learning courses starting in AY 2020-2021.
The courses will utilize asynchronous communication platforms like online message boards and instant messaging applications, as well as synchronous or ‘real-time’ platforms like UP’s Learning Management Systems, Zoom, Google Classroom, Edmodo, and others.
As its name suggests, the “Kaagapay sa Pag-aaral” program encourages the global UP community to support its most financially challenged students. It also aims to create a culture of philanthropy on all levels — from the alumni to the student body — and to promote the practice of giving back and paying it forward.
More importantly, officials said the project was created to inspire confidence among UP’s own students in the thought of having someone at their side in times of need. This is poignantly symbolized by the project’s icon: two sunflowers growing side-by-side, representing not only mutual support, but hope.
The cost of supporting a typical UP student through four years of tertiary education is estimated to be P110,000 per student, with P30,000 being the cost of a laptop computer with suitable specifications, and P80,000 covering the cost of Internet connectivity for four years. Donation packages have been created and tailor fitted to support all or part of these amounts per student.
#KaagapayUP is the overall umbrella project for all system-wide efforts to support financially needy students to cope with the challenges of remote learning. Both payment options and UP’s range of donating partners have been expanded to assist as many students as possible.
Interested donors may make use of a range of payment portals to facilitate their donations. One may donate directly via cash or check through the UP System’s Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) trust account or to #KaagapayUP accounts handled by the UP Foundation. One may also utilize bank deposits, wire transfers, online bank transfers and remittances, credit/debit cards, and digital payment platforms like PayMaya, GCash, PayPal and DragonPay.