STI and DepEd Drive Education Where IT Matters
STI Foundation for Leadership in Information Technology and Education, Inc. (STI Foundation) and the Department of Education (DepEd) renewed their partnership in delivering ICT-enhanced learning to many young Filipinos across the country through STI's Mobile School (Computer Lab on Wheels). The signing of the memorandum of agreement was held on March 24, 2015 at the DepEd office.
(From left to right) DepEd Undersecretary for Partnership & External Linkages Mario Deriquito, Executive Assistant V for the Office of the Secretary DepEd Merlie Asprer, STI Chairman Eusebio Tanco, DepEd Secretary Br. Armin Luistro, STI President Monico Jacob, STI EVP/COO Peter Fernandez, and Executive Director for STI Foundation Connie Sablay.
The campaign started in the year 2007 as part of STI's Foundation's Driving Education Where IT Matters program, and is part of DepEd's Adopt-a-School program. Through the utilization of the STI Mobile Schools, STI faculty members equip students from DepEd's accredited high schools with skills on computer concepts, GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), multimedia animation, morphing animation, audio editing, and movie presentation through ICT-enhanced training sessions. It also educates public school teachers with ICT literacy and develop the IT education they will teach their students. All six (6) of STI's Mobile Schools are equipped with state-of-the-art computer laboratories with internet access, LCD monitors, and sound systems. Since its launch, it has reached and trained over 105,000 elementary and high school students, employees, and other individuals from 872 sites nationwide.
In his remarks, DepEd Secretary Br. Armin Luistro emphasized the need of computer access to many areas in the country. "The Mobile school is based on the assumption that there is no connectivity in the first place that is available locally. And that's why you bring in the equipment as well as the trainers so they can access it. This is an intervention, hopefully one that will not last too long. But as you know in the Philippines there are a lot of areas where either because there are no connectivity or there's no electricity, the infrastructure for online education is not possible. And this is where the mobile school serve as an intervention at a critical time when that connectivity cannot not be established," he shares.
"Our mobile schools act as our extended classrooms. We reach out and we deliver IT classes to those who need better access to IT schools, which also plays a part in fulfilling our duty to make education accessible," shares STI Foundation President Monico V. Jacob in a statement. Elaborating on the objective of the mobile school program, he adds, "In our time when the IT industry is at its peak, having good computer skills is a big advantage for the younger generation. In every student that we teach, we progress in our movement towards spreading ICT literacy in the country. We want our learners to have competent computer skills that they can use when they work for their chosen fields and for them to pay it forward to other students."
In recognition for STI's efforts in training more Filipinos to become computer-literate through the mobile school program, STI was given the Public Relations Society of the Philippines' Award of Excellence at the 45th Anvil Awards, and an Award of Merit from the Philippine Quill Awards. The STI Foundation also received a registration certificate as an Auxiliary Social Welfare and Development Agency (SWDA) by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).