Tech titan IBM signed on Tuesday, Jan. 15, an agreement with Taguig City to implement the P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) education model in the Philippines through Taguig City University.
The Philippines is the second Southeast Asia country, after Singapore, to replicate the P-TECH model, and will be the tenth globally after successful implementations in theUS, Morocco, Australia, and Taiwan. South Korea, Ireland, Brazil, and Colombia have announced that P-TECH will be implemented in their countries during 2019.
Created by IBM in 2011 and first implemented in public schools in New York, the P-TECH program creates a direct path between high school, college, and career by linking the education sector with local companies.
To date, P-TECH has been replicated in more than 110 schools worldwide, and is expected to be in more than 200 schools by the end of 2019. More than 550 businesses in technology, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing currently participate in the initiative as industry partners.
In the Philippines, P-TECH will span grades 11 to 12, with students graduating with their Associate’s Degree in Computer Technology. Beginning in senior high school, students will benefit from mentorships, worksite visits and project days — all of which will provide early exposure to careers in industries and disciplines that involve a background in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
As students progress in high school and college coursework, they will participate in paid internships that provide real workplace experiences. These opportunities will equip students with the necessary technology and workplace skills, as well as the degrees for competitive and fulfilling “new collar” careers.
At the same time, the new education model and its growing ecosystem is expected to help tackle new workforce challenges in the Philippines, including the “potential upside for 654,000 new jobs to be created by 2022, from a baseline of 1.15 million jobs in 2016”, according to the Philippine IT BPM Accelerate PH Future Ready Roadmap 2022.
P-TECH is also seen helping increase the pool of skilled Filipino talents needed as companies across sectors ramp up their digital transformation efforts.
Harriet Green, CEO and chairman of IBM Asia Pacific, said during the launch of the program at the Grand Hyatt Hotel that P-TECH is a direct response by IBM to the global skills crisis and is very much in line with the needs and strategy of the Philippines as a nation.
“We are on the cusp of a new technological era – one that is radically transforming both business and public institutions, reshaping our personal and professional lives, at an exponential pace,” she said.
“However, we need more than just the right technology. We need the right people, with the right skills, in the right jobs – and we need them here in the Philippines.”
For his part, Taguig City University president Juan C. Birion said the workplace learning opportunities such as mentorships and internships that will be made available to students will be a critical part of the education and training under P-TECH.
“We are very encouraged that IBM will be working with us to broaden opportunities for our STEM graduates,” Birion said.
Taguig City mayor Laarni Cayetano said she was delighted to learn that Taguig City University was chosen to be a partner for P-TECH in the Philippines.
“P-TECH very much supports Taguig City’s objective to invest in the education of our residents so that they can become more productive, hopefully resulting to a better quality of life for them and their families,” she stated.