TELECOM giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), through its business unit PLDT SME Nation, together with global IT giant Microsoft Philippines, on Wednesday launched a new service package called the Digital Campus Suite that will enable students and academes access to online learning programs and to earn IT (Information Technology) certifications for critical IT skills that are now in demand in today’s digitally- driven industries.
“We at PLDT are confident that this partnership can significantly contribute to enriching the digital content of Philippine education. By enabling schools through these programs, we are helping them, both educator and student, to gain new critical skills and learn IT courses with globally competitive technology programs that have become essential in today’s digital work place,” PLDT Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan said.
Through the Digital Campus Suite, schools will have high-speed connectivity to PLDT myDSL Biz or iGate, and online access to training courses of the Microsoft IT Academy Program.
Educators and students will have access to Microsoft’s digital curriculum and earn IT certifications in the Microsoft IT Academy Program for fundamental technology skills as well as courses that enable students to become more competitive for employment.
Schools will also receive licenses to Microsoft Office 365 to help students and teachers interact and teach using cloud tools and platforms.
The suite also includes laptops, tablets and WiFi access points in the campus for use of students for their overall digital education experience.
A study conducted by International Data Corporation has revealed that increased spending on IT cloud services will open up an estimated 14 million new jobs worldwide.
The study noted that there is an apparent “widening Information and Communications Technology professional skill gap” and a “shortage of skills” in the Asia-Pacific region.
PLDT First Vice President and Head of SME Business Kat Luna-Abelarde said the SME Nation has been very active in partnering with schools to build their technology and connectivity resources in support of the education sector’s need to improve ICT learning among the students and academe.
“This initiative fully aligns with PLDT SME Nation’s effort to empower the future generation with an ICT-enabled education system. ICT skills are no longer just added value to employment but are now necessities in today’s business and entrepreneurial landscape. This initiative allows these students to become adept in basic ICT skills and IT programs to prepare them for their chosen careers,” Abelarde added.
Meanwhile, the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (Cocopea) expressed its gratitude to the PLDT and Microsoft for their commitment to boost the country’s IT education.
“I thank Manny Pangilinan for partnering with Cocopea in making the technological landscape for educational institutions in the Philippines,” Cocopea Chairman Br. Narciso Erguiza said in his keynote speech during the formal launch of the Digital Campus Suite at the EDSA-Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City.
Cocopea is composed of five members: Association of Christian Schools, Colleges and Universities; Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines; Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities; Philippine Association of Private Schools, Colleges and Universities; and Technical-Vocational Schools Associations of the Philippines.
“Technology will connect us to our friends and loved ones but will not be able to provide meaningful relationships and engagement. It can provide us with a lot of information but transformation can only happen in relationship and engagement. This technology can provide us meaningful relationship and compassion,” he added.