The GSMA is collaborating with Philippines Department of Educaton (DepEd) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to create new education opportunities to out-of-school Filipino youths.
Philippian mobile operators including Digitel Mobile Philippines Inc. (DMPI), Globe Telecom, and Smart Communications are also joining hands with GSMA for these efforts.
The GSMA’s global mEducation project aims to accelerate the adoption of mobile education solutions, particularly mobile-enabled portable devices, such as e-Readers and tablets.
The collaboration aims to provide one million K-12 Filipino out-of-school youths (OSYs) with additional opportunities to access education, including technical vocational (tech-voc) education, via mobile media.
As per the National Statistics Office of the Philippines reports in 2011, there were at least 6.24 million out-of-school youths in the country.
This initiative is part of the GSMA vision of a ‘Connected Life’, a world where everything intelligently connects via mobile networks, delivering rich services to businesses and consumers in every aspect of their lives.
GSMA’s efforts will complement those of multiple government agencies by extending knowledge to OSYs, especially those in underserved areas and geographically isolated communities, with the support and reach of mobile technology.
The Asian mEducation market is projected to reach $6.8 billion by 2017.
Irene Ng, head of Asia, GSMA, said, “Initiatives such as this, especially involving multi-stakeholder partnership, will drive even greater growth and help to accelerate achievement of the desired objectives for such programs.”
The Philippines is known for the high mobile penetration and technology adoption. The mobile penetration rate in the country was 105 percent by the end of 2012 and the smartphone penetration rate nearly tripled between 2010 and 2011, growing from nine percent to 24 percent.
Filipinos send over two billion messages every day. The country is known as the SMS Capital of the World.
Mario A. Deriquito, DepEd undersecretary for Partnerships and External Linkages, said supporting out-of-school youths is a priority for 2014 and beyond. It provides a flexible medium that can help us tackle a lot of the challenges we face in the education and training sector in our country.
“Given that many of the efforts to assist OSYs will be localized, mobile technology provides us with a tool that can help unify and coordinate this work even from a distance,” Deriquito added.