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Valenzuela students get free data subscription 

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More than 8,000 students in Valenzuela City received free data subscriptions that they can use for the online learning for the entire academic year,  according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

Mayor Rex Gatchalian said more than 8,000 SMART 5G Ready sim cards with SMART GIGA Study Plan 299 and Microsoft 365 License will be distributed to students of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela (PLV), Valenzuela City Polytechnic College (ValPoly), and junior and senior high school students of Valenzuela City School of Mathematics and Science (ValMaSci).

Gatchalian said the city government will shoulder the monthly data subscription of all students under the city's prepaid custom plan.

"This includes 34 gigabytes of data allocation, 4 gigabytes open access data, and 1 gigabyte per day for study applications," he said.

Gatchalian cited the importance of having a stable, convenient, and reliable internet connection while administering an online learning system in these trying times.

“Running the city is a very serious matter, it becomes more serious during the pandemic. So, [the] communication must be very fast, very convenient, and very reliable. This program is part of the overall plan of the city to keep the students educated," he said.

Gatchalian said the distribution of the free data subscription to the students is a 'perfect timing' as the city will also implement the use of online learning management platform Canvas while face-to-face classes are still prohibited.

Gatchalian said students could access the online Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) for free.

Canvas platforms are also being used by various prominent universities abroad, including Harvard University, Ohio State University, University of Florida, Pennsylvania State University, and New England Institute of Technology.

The city government has earlier launched the use of a full online learning system as an alternative to face-to-face classes, ensuring the continuity of education for students during the health crisis.

"We partnered Canvas with a very reliable partner so all the necessary ingredients for the success of your [student’s] continued education, nandiyan na (it is now available). Maximize the investment that the city is giving you,” said Gatchalian.

Meanwhile, Sheriz Ann Umali, a student of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela, said the city government's move to provide stable internet connectivity is a huge help for students engaged in online learning but have limited access to data subscription.

“Hindi madali yung kinakaharap natin ngayon (What we are facing right now is not easy), pero (but) we'll try to make it a little better. We'll cope, we'll adapt, and we'll progress,” she said, as she expressed her gratitude to the local government.

The city government targets to secure steady internet connectivity for students while they are using the Canvas platform as it vowed an uninterrupted education for its residents amid the prevailing pandemic.

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