Ayala Foundation in partnership with Microsoft Philippines launched CodeIT, a digital education project made to provide the underserved Filipino youth access to technology and computer science training. Present in the event are (L-R) Romualdo Katigbak, Chief Financial Officer, Ayala Foundation Inc; Joanna O. Duarte, Senior Director, Ayala Foundation Inc.; Vivien V. Reyes, Chief Information Officer of Ayala Foundation Inc.; Jaime Zobel de Ayala, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Ayala Corporation and Co-Chairman of Ayala Foundation, Inc.; Andres Ortola, Country General Manager of Microsoft Philippines; Hong Nhi Le, Philanthropies Lead for South East Asia; Christian Lim, Chief Operating Officer of Microsoft Philippines; Atty. Raul Cortez, Legal and Corporate Affairs Director of Microsoft Philippines; and Jan Philippe Tanchi, HR Lead, Microsoft Philippines.
Bridging the digital divide by teaching coding skills to public school students
In the future, students will face a job market vastly different from the one that we have right now. In fact, studies show that 65% of current students will be applying for jobs that do not yet exist, many of which are in the ever-expanding field of digital technology. This is why digital education plays an increasingly crucial role among the youth, and there is a need to bridge the digital divide as it continues to widen.
To help address this gap, Ayala Foundation has recently partnered with Microsoft Philippines to launch its latest digital education project called CodeIT. This initiative aims to provide underserved Filipino youth access to technology and computer science training, in order to equip them with the right skills and prepare them for the workplace of tomorrow.
Together with the Department of Education, CodeIT strives to make an impact in the lives of at least 4,000 students and 120 teachers from public elementary schools nationwide.
The project is composed of a two-pronged strategy that starts with a ‘train the trainers’ approach—lead teachers are trained, who in turn tap partner schools and impart programming knowledge to new teachers. CodeIT trainers are also provided with close mentoring and resources throughout the program.
CodeIT is complemented by computer science lessons integrated into grades 3 – 6 classes, as well as computer science after-hour programs to sustain engagement among students. Apart from learning how to use coding platforms, the students also get to develop skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, logical reasoning, creativity, and innovation.
“Ayala Foundation actively supports the continuing growth and development of our teachers and students in the public school sector,” said Ayala Foundation President Ruel Maranan. “Through digital education brought by CodeIT, we are equipping our students and teachers with the necessary tools and skills that will prepare them for the challenges of tomorrow.”
“We, at Microsoft, recognize the importance of developing our academic curriculum in order to include new courses that would help Filipino students be future-ready,” Microsoft Philippines General Manager Andrés Ortola said. “Through this partnership, we hope to empower the young generation with skills that would allow them to easily adapt and leverage artificial intelligence in their future careers.”
CodeIT will be piloted in 12 public elementary schools nationwide this June.