Civic group relaunches digital literacy program for Pinoy youths

By Espie Angelica A. de Leon

The Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (Assist), an international capacity-building non-profit group, has relaunched DigiBayanihan, a digital empowerment program for Filipinos first unveiled in 2014.

Department of Information and Communications Technology director Tess Camba (left) and Assist Asia group managing director Sreenivas Narayanan

Department of Information and Communications Technology director Tess Camba (left) and Assist Asia group managing director Sreenivas Narayanan

This time around, DigiBayanihan targets young members of Philippine society to prepare them for an increasingly digital world. Its goal is to reach one million youths across the country, especially in Visayas and Mindanao.

“We want to enable our people in Visayas and Mindanao with the best of content and skills so that they can use it where they are and benefit where they are,” said Assist Asia group managing director Sreenivas Narayanan during the press launch at Ascott Makati on Oct. 24.

The program consists of three initiatives namely, Career Engine, Test Hero, and DQ World.

Career Engine is a career portal whose objective is to prepare new college and technical vocation graduates for their future careers.

In particular, Career Engine helps graduates in their job search, preps them up for the job interview, and equips them with the right attitude for the modern workplace.

The portal contains engaging content in the local context, training videos, downloadable materials, modules, and questionnaires in Filipino, English, and Cebuano.

On the other hand, Test Hero is a test preparation portal which aims to get high school students ready for college and university entrance exams through practice tests.

It features over a thousand questions covering basic subjects in school, educational modules, guides, and videos. Test Hero also allows collaboration among students learning about the same topic.

Meanwhile, DQ World is an online and mobile learning platform for children 8-12 years old designed to build up their DQ or digital intelligence quotient. It will equip them with skills and abilities that will help them live in an increasingly digital world.

“They’re going to be the first generation to grow up in a world with the Internet,” said Assist project manager Ariane Lim. “They’re not going to remember a time when the Internet is not here and because of that they need a special set of skills.”

These core skills are screen time management, cyberbullying management, cyber security management, privacy management, critical thinking, digital citizen identity, digital footprint management, and digital empathy.

Developed in partnership with Singapore-based DQ Institute, DQ World will feature animation, interactive slides, quizzes, and the like, in gamified format. It will also provide post program reports for both the schools and the parents showing the children’s scores and proposed interventions, among others.

“We have to open access to the digital world to prepare the future members of the workforce for technology-enabled jobs. DigiBayanihan is not a one-time initiative,” said Narayanan, “It will grow over time as we reach to communities and partners.”

Said Lei Ramos, communications senior associate for Test Hero, “The bigger goal of Assist is to democratize education because the materials are offered free and accessible to as many users as possible.”

For DigiBayanihan, Assist works in collaboration with the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s Tech4Ed project which delivers ICT-enabled services and content to unserved and underserved communities in the country.

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