Digital literacy initiative aims to equip 5M Filipinos with tech skills by 2015

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DigiBayanihan, a digital literacy program principally led by Intel Philippines and the ICT Office of the Department of Science and Technology, is eyeing to provide tech skills to five million Filipinos this year.

Intel PH chief Calum Chisholm (left, foreground) discussing the DigiBayanihan project in a media briefing as ICT Office deputy executive director Bettina Quimson (right) looks on
Intel PH chief Calum Chisholm (left, foreground) discussing the DigiBayanihan project in a media briefing as ICT Office deputy executive director Bettina Quimson (right) looks on

This was the declaration of the project?s main proponents during a recent media briefing in Makati City, adding that volunteers will be tapped for the digital literacy campaign.

DigiBayanihan is also part of the ?eFilipino? program of ICT Office, which aims to harness the use of ICT to achieve growth and development of communities in the Philippines through the establishment of ?Tech4Ed Innovation? hubs.

?We believe that DigiBayanihan will further fuel and propel the eFilipino program,? said Bettina Quimson, DOST-ICTO deputy executive director.

?DigiBayanihan, is a movement of volunteerism focusing on digital literacy? [and is] very much aligned to our Tech4Ed and free Public WiFi projects. [I]t provides additional support to the ICT trainings of our people.?

With the ICT Office as a major partner in DigiBayanihan, the movement also plans to enhance its partnerships with other stakeholders, in particular, the private sector, civil society organizations, academic institutions and international agencies, to include more national government agencies such as National Youth Commission and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda).

The transformed DigiBayanihan initiative will be managed on a day-to-day basis by the Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (Assist).

?Assist and AsianNGO are proud to act as a catalyst in this whole process and looking forward to making this into a truly national movement,? said Ashley Venerable of Assist.

Calum Chisholm, Intel Philippines country manager, said that with DigiBayanihan, the company has already achieved one of the goals it first set in mid-2014.

?[A]nd that is to put digital literacy at the forefront of the national agenda for human and economic development,? Chisholm said.

With the ICT Office supporting DigiBayanihan as a component of its national strategy, the Intel executive the company hopes to see the full impact of the program in just a few years.

?Intel is proud to be a driving force in this initiative and we will continue to lend our expertise in IT education among the youth and technology leadership to ensure that we reach the digitally excluded members of the population,? he added.

Intel?s digital literacy program, Easy Steps, is the current mainstay of DigiBayanihan. However, plans are in place to expand the program by creating more Philippine-focused topics.

?Apart from ICT skills literacy, DigiBayanihan will also promote digital empowerment and citizenship,? said Sreeni Narayanan of Assist. ?A digitally enabled and empowered Filipino will be a responsible citizen no matter where.?

From its launch in mid-2014, DigiBayanihan has successfully trained over 100, 000 Filipinos. This year, it is expected that DigiBayanihan will exponentially increase its reach through volunteerism.

Volunteers will be mobilized to organize and implement the local activities that will bring digital literacy and digital citizenship within the reach of most Filipinos.

Aside from the ICT Office and Intel, DigiBayanihan also counts as partners the following organizations: FIT-ED, Children International-Philippines, National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), the Philippine Community e-Center Network (PhilCeCNet), the Philippine Society of IT Educators (PSITE), Technical Vocational Schools and Associations of the Philippines (TEVSAPHIL), Assist, and AsianNGO.

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