In a study released by the Universal McCann Group of Companies a few years ago, the Philippines was named the “social networking capital of the world.” Out of 7.9 million Filipinos using the Internet, 6.9 million visit a social networking site. I can just imagine how much that number has multiplied in the months that have passed.
Today, more and more jobs require computer competency, some even require a certain level of internet know-how before you are accepted. While majority of those reading this article are probably more familiar with the world of technology, what happens to the future of those who aren’t? That’s where the importance of the Digital Campus Suite comes in.
Digital Campus Suite
Leading telecoms and multi-media service provider PLDT, through its business unit PLDT Smart SME Nation, has launched together with global IT giant Microsoft Philippines a new service package called the Digital Campus Suite that will enable students and academes access to online learning programs and even earn IT (Information Technology) for certifications for critical IT skills that are now in-demand in today’s digitally driven industries.
“We at PLDT are confident that this partnership can significantly contribute to enriching the digital content of Philippine education. By enabling schools through these programs, we are helping both educator and student to gain new critical skills and learn IT courses with globally competitive technology programs that have become essential in today’s digital work place,” said PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan.
Back when we were growing up, our teachers would often use Manila paper to introduce a new lesson. When we needed to submit a paper, we had to use our typewriters. And when we wanted to borrow a book, we needed to go through the index cards in the Dewey Decimal System… only to find the book missing. Things were not always convenient then, and thankfully through technology, things have gotten a lot easier. Unfortunately, there are still several schools that are stuck in the 80’s/90’s. In fact, 90-95% of schools in the Philippines are still doing this. It’s ironic because technology has grown so important.
The vision of the Digital Campus Suite is to help the Philippines take that leap into the digital age and uplift Philippine education to a global standard. Technology is not the goal. Several schools are very high-tech but do not use their facilities and equipment properly. The goal of the Digital Campus Suite is for students to learn more through technology, to collaborate with their teachers, and to share knowledge easily.
What will schools get by subscribing to the Digital Campus Suite?
- Through the Digital Campus Suite, schools will have high-speed connectivity with PLDT myDSL Biz or iGate, and online access to training courses of the Microsoft IT Academy Program.
- Educators and students will have access to Microsoft’s digital curriculum and earn IT certifications in the Microsoft Academy Program for fundamental technology skills as well as courses that enable students to become more competitive for employment.
- Schools will receive licenses to Microsoft Office 365 to help students and teachers interact and teach using Cloud tools and platforms
- The suite also includes laptops, tablets, and WiFi access points in the campus for the use of students for their over-all digital education experience
A study conducted by International Data Corporation (IDC) also revealed that increased spending on IT cloud services will open up an estimated 14 million new jobs worldwide. The same report also noted that there is an apparent “widening ICT professional skill gap” and a “shortage of skills” in the Asia Pacific Region.
“This initiative fully aligns with PLDT SME Nation’s efforts to empower the future generation with an ICT-enabled education system. ICT skills are no longer just added value to employment but are now necessities in today’s business and entrepreneurial landscape. This initiative will allow students to become adept in basic ICT skills and IT programs to prepare them for their chosen career,” said PLDT FVD and Head of SME Business Kat Luna-Abelarde.
The partnership is seen to bridge the widening skills and education gap by empowering Filipino students with the tools and knowledge to be able to compete and gain advantage in today’s job market.
“An educated population is what we need to build a progressive Philippine economy, but we can’t educate tomorrow’s leaders with tools from the past,” said Microsoft Philippine General Manager Karrie Ilagan. “The increasingly competitive workplace is being driven by technology and digital literacy, and the Digital Campus suite gives educators and students access to tools that will build their capability to excel in that environment. We always strive to effect a positive change in the lives of our customers, and our partnership with PLDT SME Nation helps us create a bigger impact on all aspects of education.”
Being a teacher myself, I am more or less familiar with the pros and cons of technology. Technology can be unhealthy when children use it to play too much games or rely on it too much that they become lazy. However, the PLDT Digital Campus Suite can be very beneficial to students and teachers as it offers a variety of apps and programs that will help make learning much easier.
For more details, check out smenation.com.ph