The Department of Education (DepEd) has tapped leading telecommunications company Globe Telecom as an official partner for the Adopt-A-School (AAS) Program which aims to provide quality and relevant education to the Filipino youth through private sector participation.
The AAS Program enjoins all private entities to assist public schools in areas such as infrastructure, health and nutrition, teaching skills development, computer and science lab equipment and learning support. To this, Globe responded with its Global Filipino School (GFS) program, a long-term education initiative designed to transform select public schools into centers of excellence in Information and Communications Technology and innovative teaching methods.
“We need all the help we can get from the private sector so that our public schools, especially the less privileged ones, may still receive assistance outside the mainstream funding and the national budget. Thus, we are glad to see a big company like Globe showing concern and desire to improve the status of education in the Philippines. We hope that this will further inspire other companies to join this undertaking,” said Tonisito M.C. Umali, Esq., DepEd Assistant Secretary for External Partnerships Service.
The AAS Program caters to less privileged schools with limited resources but have very large student population. Most of them experience classroom shortage, insufficient textbooks and instructional materials and overcrowding. Schools in low-income municipalities but have high performing students are also given consideration.
“It is Globe Telecom’s purpose to create opportunities that will allow people to overcome challenges and make their dreams come true. With this in mind, we continue to align our programs with the priority plans of DepEd to provide world class education to more public schools nationwide. We are grateful that our efforts are being recognized by DepEd and that our GFS program is now part of the national strategy to improve quality of education in the country,” said Fernando Esguerra, Globe Director for Citizenship.
Globe is targeting at least 221 public schools representing the 221 DepEd school divisions nationwide by end of the five-year expansion period. By the end of the year, Globe expects the GFS Program to be implemented in 60 untapped divisions in the National Capital Region, CALABARZON, Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Davao regions representing 60 schools with combined student population of about 90,000.
The GFS Program was initially piloted by Globe and DepEd in Bilar National High School four years ago and is now present in 20 public schools nationwide. With the positive feedback received from its initial implementation, Globe decided to roll it out in all DepEd divisions within five years beginning 2016.
Based on the GFS impact assessment released by Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) Global Market Research Company early this year, it shows improved digital skills among teachers and students, particularly on the usage of mobile technology and computer software. Students also became more well-rounded due to increased engagements driven by various pillars under the 21st Century Learning Framework namely collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking. The notable increase in the presence of ICT equipment also resulted in more students and teachers now using ICT in their daily academic proceedings.
Under the program, schools are provided with unparalleled online connectivity to give homeroom teachers access to limitless teaching and learning engagements available on the internet that will help further improve their craft and make learning fun and interesting for the students.
The schools are also given a Globe Digital Laboratory package containing netbooks/tablets, mobile projectors, and WiFi dongles while teachers are trained on ICT education and project-based learning through the GFS Master Teachers Workshop and Online Coaching Course. All schools under GFS are intended to become teacher training hubs and training partners of the DepEd Division Offices in conducting teaching workshops for neighboring schools of each division.
To complement the GFS Program, Globe recently launched the GFS Library which offers over 1,000 educational e-books appropriate for K-12 learning to benefit over 15 million public elementary and high school students and some 500,000 public school teachers nationwide.
GFSLibrary.com is a web-based platform that provides free and quick access to digital story books for children and young adults as well as textbooks on core subjects such as Math, Science, English, Filipino, Music, Arts, among others. The ebooks may be opened via their desktop, laptop or mobile device using any basic ebook reader.
While developments in technology have made it easier for both students and teachers to access a vast library of information previously out of their reach, a significant number of public elementary and high schools nationwide still do not have internet access due to lack of adequate infrastructure. Thus, with the program’s nationwide implementation, Globe expects to address the concern and at the same time, improve the Philippines’ global ranking in education.
For TM and Globe prepaid and postpaid customers who want to help public school students achieve their dreams, cash donations may be sent by texting GFS to 21580437 (0GFS) and following the instructions in the text messages. The general public, on the other hand, may deposit any amount to BPI Habitat for Humanity Philippines, Inc., Account No. 2421-0037-45. For inquiries, please email email@example.com.