Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a proper education. With poverty and a challenging educational system, many grow up illiterate as they are denied schooling.
According to the 2017 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority, an estimated 39.2 million or nine percent of Filipinos aged six to 24 years old are out-of-school (OSY) youth.
This problem was seen as an opportunity for Christian development, advocacy and relief organization World Vision to open a platform for innovators and entrepreneurs in creating ways to address the illiteracy problems of the country.
Last 14 August, the organization conducted the Social Innovation Challenge: The Final Pitch at Novotel Manila in Araneta Center, Cubao. Participants were asked to address two challenges based on agricultural and education problems.
The challenges were based on problems of around 1,000 farming households in Barangay Cabalawan in Sogod, Province of Cebu and around 500 OSY in Barangay Bucana, Davao City.
The winner of the Education sector is Edukasyon.ph, represented by Social Development Projects Team members Patricia Matias, Ria Tagle, Jose Soberano, Pam Suanco and Cristina Batalla.
Edukasyon.ph is an online portal designed to provide localized skills and necessary training for OSY to gain sustainable employment.
The members shared that Edukasyon.ph is designed to offer flexibility — a work-study model which students can take at their convenience. It is a specialized training program that leads to direct employment. Minimal investment is required from the student because of the portal’s ease-of-use features and accessibility.
It offers three employment paths designed to address the demands of local communities: Customer Service Representative track, Community Entrepreneurship track and Home-based Online Employment track.
“We want to make education accessible to everyone. And, with this challenge, we can really do that and learn how to scale it up in other communities as well,” Pam Suanco of Edukasyon.ph said.
Finalists for the Social Innovation Challenge were judged by a multi-sectoral panel of judges comprised of World Vision ambassador for the Social Innovation Challenge Gretchen Ho, Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Evelyn Lavina, Department of Education Undersecretary Tonisito Umali, CNN Philippines’ The Final Pitch host and executive producer John Aguilar, Hub of Innovation for Inclusion director Abigail Mapua-Cabanilla, J. Amado Araneta Foundation executive director Christine Diane Romero and treasurer of the Board of Trustees for Community Economic Ventures Inc. Rolly Solidum.