ATI-backed eLearning program for Manila students takes off

June 30, 2020

A well-timed digital learning program that would help Manila’s public elementary students acquire basic computer programming skills has officially taken off with the backing of listed port operator Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI).

Project<code/it>, a child-centered computer science and coding learning initiative developed by Ayala Foundation Inc. (AFI) with Microsoft Philanthropies, was launched on June 26 via a live virtual event attended by key officers of partner institutions and Manila city officials led by Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso.

The initiative is aligned with the distance learning modality advocated by the Department of Education for the upcoming academic year to ensure uninterrupted coursework amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Project<code/it> aims to empower the Filipino youth in the realm of Information Technology, primarily by immersing and imbuing them foundational skills in basic computer programming – skills that are in-demand for current jobs, more so, for the future.

As the private-sector partner, ATI supports the provisions for trainings, materials, and other requirements for the digital transition of participants across all of Manila’s 73 public elementary schools. An estimated 120,000 students in Grades 3 to 6 and around 300 teachers would benefit from the project which covers school years 2020 through 2022.

Project<code/it> is well aligned with ATI’s dynamic Corporate Sustainability Program,which lists Education and Youth Empowerment as core priorities. This project will be a big help in enhancing the digital knowledge of the youth, eventually developing IT-savvy talent/workforce in the future.

“Like port operations, studying and acquiring new knowledge should remain unhindered despite the current health crisis,” said Ian Baking, ATI assistant vice president for Business Development, noting that the project will provide a safe online learning environment and help both teachers and students adjust to distance learning under the so-called “new normal.”

“Project <code/it>is also a proactive intervention to bridge the digital divide, especially in the underprivileged and underserved sectors of Philippine society,” adds Baking.