PLDT, Microsoft Launches Digital Campus Suite To Boost Philippine's IT Education

The unemployment rate in the Philippines is very alarming. April 2015 figure revealed that there are 2.7 million unemployed Filipinos. It seems like the schools are producing graduates who are not equipped with skills required of them to land a job.

Ms. Kat Luna-Abelarde, PLDT FVP and Head of  PLDT SME Business

According to Ms. Kat Luna-Abelarde, PLDT FVP and Head of PLDT SME Business, around 250,000 ICT professionals in the Asia-Pacific region have skill gap. It is expected to increase to 400,000 in 2016. There are 14 million available new jobs in ICT worldwide. To address the issue of skill shortage, there should be a significant yearly addition of 222,000 technically equipped graduates from 2014-2022.

Leading telecoms and multi-media service provider PLDT, through its business unit PLDT SME Nation, has launched together with global IT giant Microsoft Philippines 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  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," said PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan.

Through the Digital Campus Suite, schools will have high-speed connectivity with 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 the use of students for their over-all digital education experience. 

PLDT SME Nation has been very active in partnering with schools and learning institutions to build their technology and connectivity resources in support of the education sector's need to improve ICT learning among the students and the academe.

"This initiative fully aligns with PLDT SME Nation's efforts to empower the future generation with an ICT-enabled education system. ICT skills are no longer just an added value to employment but are now necessities in today's business and entrepreneurial landscape. This initiative will allow these students to become adept in the basic ICT skills and IT programs to prepare them for their chosen careers," said PLDT FVP and Head of SME Business Kat Luna-Abelarde.

This partnership is seen to bridge that widening skills and education gap by empowering Filipino students the tools and knowledge to be able to compete and gain advantage in today's job market.

"An educated population is what we need to build a progressive Philippine economy, but we can't educate tomorrow's leaders with tools from the past," said Microsoft Philippines General Manager Karrie Ilagan. "The increasingly competitive workplace is being driven by technology and digital literacy, and the Digital Campus Suite gives educators and students access to tools that will build their capability to excel in that environment. We always strive to effect a positive change in the lives of our customers, and our partnership with PLDT SME Nation helps us create a bigger impact on all aspects of education."