Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting, and business solutions organization, is partnering with prominent local companies to help Filipino students address the many adversities brought by the COVID-19 pandemic in the country’s education sector.
Recently, TCS Philippines announced the first-ever TCS Sustainathon in the country, an initiative to inspire and empower young minds to be part of the solution to help improve the Philippines’ overall learning system through technology. With this year’s theme, “Inclusive Education for all in 2030,” participants are tasked to develop practical and innovative solutions, addressing the challenge statements developed by TCS Sustainathon Challenge Partners — Gokongwei Brothers Foundation, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Converge ICT Solutions, Inc. (Converge) (PSE:CNVRG), and Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Philippines, Inc.
Building Effective Peer-to-Peer Learning
Gokongwei Brothers Foundation highlights the importance of social learning amid the distance and blended education in this new normal setup. Through the Sustainathon initiative, the company aims to find practical and sustainable solutions on how students can help each other learn better while maintaining healthy social interactions.
“The Sustainathon Challenge is a commendable initiative as it empowers the youth through technology. We’re excited to be part of TCS Sustainathon Philippines and work with these competent young individuals to improve our overall learning system. The Filipino youth have so much passion and creativity to offer. What makes them more admirable is their compassion towards their fellow students. We’re looking forward to how they will leverage trends in technology to develop practical and impactful solutions that will drive an inclusive education sector” shares Grace Colet, Executive Director, Gokongwei Brothers Foundation.
Fostering a Safe Environment for All
De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (Benilde) has identified the importance of inclusion and acceptance in the community regardless of religion, gender, social status, or learning style. Cultivation of strong social relationships has always been essential in one’s overall well-being. With this, Benilde hopes to seek solutions that would ensure the development of social relationships between the members of the Benildean Community during and post-pandemic.
Jeremiah Adriano, OIC-Director of the Center for Inclusive Education shares, “The pandemic imposed distance among us but it also forced us to work together. We need to build strong, social relationships within our school community to create an inclusive space and safe environment. We are proud to be one of TCS’ challenge partners in this initiative and help promote strong connections inside and outside our community. The De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde is very much excited to see the youth’s high-impact innovation to address their chosen challenge statement.”
Breaking the “Digital Divide” in Education
The COVID-19 Pandemic caused much disruption in the country’s education system. In a study released last February 2021, the national Social Weather Survey (SWS) reported that 13 percent or over 4 million school-age Filipinos were not enrolled in the fourth quarter of 2020. The shift in learning modality has highlighted the challenges in students’ access to internet connection, equipment, and learning-conducive space. Through TCS Sustainathon Philippines, Converge hopes to see young minds co-develop innovative solutions that would help the company effectively use its pure fiber fixed broadband network and unique capabilities and partnerships to further learning under the new normal.
“Learning in this new normal setup is a challenge to teachers and students alike, especially for those without a stable broadband connection at home. There is a glaring need to address issues on internet connectivity and access to learning tools and materials. As the fastest growing fiber internet provider in the country, we are more than willing to collaborate with Filipino students in this Sustainathon Challenge to design solutions that will help us effectively serve the students within unserved and underserved communities.” Benjamin B. Azada, Converge Chief Strategy Officer shares.
Taking Literacy to a Higher Level
Lack of access to learning materials and resources (technology and infrastructure) in remote areas and limited student-teacher learning and consultation are some of the factors pointed out by Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Philippines that affect the overall literacy of Filipino children. The pandemic aggravated the situation, thus, the company is encouraging the youth to leverage digitization to make learning materials easier to digest and access for teachers, parents and students. Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Philippines is looking forward to seeing simple, scalable, and useful innovation that can help further improve the reading comprehension of children, especially for learners in rural areas.
“As we immersed ourselves in the ground in helping improve literacy of children in rural areas, we have seen how the education interventions need reinforcement in terms of technology. While we acknowledge the efficacy of localized traditional type of learning, it is imperative for us to look for innovations that will further aid learners’ development. We are thankful to be one of TCS Philippines’ Challenge Partners for TCS Sustainathon as it gives opportunities for Filipino students to share their unique ideas and propose digitally enabled solutions that will help Filipino children know how to read. We believe in the youth’s capability to create cutting-edge innovations that would answer the call that no student should be left behind,” Marie Angeles, Executive Director, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Philippines shares.
Visit the TCS Sustainathon Philippines website to know more about TCS Sustainathon and the four challenge statements. Open to all 17 to 23 year old students nationwide, all they have to do is pick a challenge statement and brainstorm on a solution. They can register and submit their entries at the TCS Sustainathon Philippines website until November 19. The 1stplace winner will receive Php150,000 while the second and third placers will receive Php100,000 and Php50,000, respectively.
TCS Philippines remains eager to materialize the vision and mission of the company and its partners. Embracing the company’s Building on Belief philosophy where every initiative is rolled-out based on purpose, TCS continues to work hand-in-hand with its partners to develop innovative, sustainable, and scalable solutions that will help solve the most pressing issues in the community.