SECRETARY JOEL VILLANUEVA LED TESDA AND THE TECH-VOC EDUCATION sector in the memorandum of understanding signing with DepEd and TELECOMMUNICATIONS GIANTS Smart Communications, Globe Telecom and Digitel/SunCellular to explore future possibilities in mobile education. The event was preceded by a workshop sponsored by GSM Association (GSMA) where TESDA presented the agency's initiatives in mobile education.
The memorandum of understanding was signed by no less than Secretary Joel Villanueva of TESDA, Undersecretary Mario Deriquito of DepEd, Napoleon Nazareno, President and CEO of Smart Communications, Inc., Gil Genio, Executive Vice President for Corporate Strategy and Business Development, Charles Lim, COO of DIGITEL/Sun Cellular, Irene Ng, Head for Asia-Pacific, GSMA and Adrian Godfrey, Director of mEducation, GSMA.
"Our experiences at TESDA affirm our belief that we need to ensure that the youth get foundational, transferable and technical skills through innovative programs that utilize information technology... I am confident that this collaboration will further put a premium in the role of middle-level manpower and ensure that the Filipino skilled workers, whether they are plumbers, carpenters, welders, household workers, drivers, or cooks, will take pride in the dignity of their work."
"Sa TESDA, may choice ka." - SECRETARY JOEL VILLANUEVA
Leading telecommunications company Globe Telecom throws its support to the mEducation initiative of GSM Association as it signed a joint collaboration agreement with the Department of Education (DepEd), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and other industry players to bring education opportunities to over six million out-of-school youth in the country.
“This is something that clearly requires the effort of everybody and we believe that this collaboration to explore and pursue mobile education programs has a great potential to impact more disadvantaged Filipino youth,” said Gil B. Genio, Head of Globe Corporate Strategy and Business Development in a speech delivered during the Memorandum of Understanding signing activity at Makati Shangri-la Hotel.
He noted that Globe, being a sustainability-oriented organization,always extendexciting learning experiences to Filipino students through education programs such as Text2Teach and Global Filipino Schools, thus, the company is highly-committed to see through the GSMA mEducation initiative to help advance education in the Philippines.
The major mEducationstakeholders are set toform a Project Management Office as well as develop a portal for out-of-school youth that would allow them to either achieve equivalency through alternative learning systems or avail of technical-vocational education training using their mobile phones.
The planned portal will feature accredited mobile education programs which can be delivered through SMS, Voice or data services, It will serve as aone-stop shop for all the accredited programs of DepEd and TESDA and will ensure legitimacy of the offers.
Since initial studies showed that the Philippines has a very high penetration rate of mobile devices whether it’s a basic phone or a smartphone, the programs will be tailored-fit to the requirements of the users.
The effort will also contribute to the AbotAlam program of DepEd and TESDA which aims to provideone million out-of-school youth with either opportunities for gainful employment or accreditation equivalency to alternative learning systems in 2014. “By including the mobile network operators in this project, hopefully, we can expand the program’s reach with mobile education,” said Fernando Esguerra, OIC, Globe Corporate Social Responsibility.
Mario Deriquito, DepEd Undersecretary for External Linkages said: “We welcome this partnership because we know that this will contribute a lot. Among the out-of-school youth population, there are many who live in far-flung areas. Since a lot of them have mobile phones, mobile technology will help us reach out to them.”
“Second, because these young people have been out of school for several years already, they have lost the appetite for learning so we need to make it interesting for them. We cannot just invite them to come to the classroom and listen to a teacher. We are sure that they will be more interested if we use mobile technology to deliver the lessons,” he added.
GSMA, an organization of nearly 800 mobile operators in over 220 countries, acts as advisor for the mEducation initiative and provides support to include best practice and business model expertise to the project.
GSMA’s global mEducation project aims to accelerate the adoption of mobile education solutions, particularly mobile-enabled portable devices, such as e-Readers and tablets. It forms part of the GSMA vision of a ‘Connected Life’, a world where everything intelligently connects via mobile networks, delivering rich services to businesses and consumers in every aspect of their lives.
“Never before has such an ambitiousmEducation collaboration taken place in the Philippines, involving all three mobile network operators and two key government agencies. The Asian mEducation market is projected to reach $6.8 billion by 20172. Initiatives such as this, especially involving multi-stakeholder partnership, will drive even greater growth and help to accelerate achievement of the desired objectives for such programmes,” said Irene Ng, Head of Asia, GSMA.
GSMA expects to feature the PMO and the portal at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February next year as it positions the Philippines into becoming the leader in mEducation in Asia.