Ma. Yolanda C. Crisanto, MBA
Globe GoLearn: Uplifting education towards 21st Century Learning
Thank you Professor Nanette Fernandez, that was a great introduction. Globe morning, that’s how we greet everyone at Globe and thank you to the faculty and alumni of UST for inviting Globe to be here today. First I’d like to congratulate all of you for launching your National Multisectoral Summit for Educational Transformation. Before I dive into the topic of how the telecom sector helps transform the Philippine education landscape, please allow me to reintroduce to you our company Globe. Most of you know us to be a telecom service provider, but not many people know that today we are more than just a Telco. We are a digital solutions platform with a market value of Php 363 billion serving 85 million customers nationwide and over 8,000 employees at Globe alone and 14,000 employees across the group. The logos you see here represent the companies and brands under the Globe group. And the most popular of which are of course GCash which is the number one payment app in the country. Konsulta MD telemedicine app that democratized primary health care in the Philippines, imagine having to pay only 60 pesos for a doctor’s consultation instead of the usual 1000 to 2000 pesos. Health Now is another health app which is a joint venture with Ayala Corporation Health. We also have our own entertainment studio, Globe Studios and events company Globe Live. Finally, we have a lifestyle company called 917 Lifestyle where you see all the t-shirts and merchandise you see inside the Globe store. Sustainability at Globe is one of our practices at this point in time. We look at ourselves as a leader in this practice, and this comes from our mission in having a purpose which is in everything we do we treat people right to create the globe of good. As a business we act responsibly, being a signatory to the UN Global Compact. We have also committed to contribute to 10 out of the 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) while focusing on four areas which is to create a digital nation, provide societal impact, caring for people and caring for environment. The things that we do with the education sector contribute to the creation of a digital nation and this morning this is what I would like to be able to discuss with you. It is widely known that the education sector is one of the most severely impacted by the pandemic. Student enrolment went down; those previously studied in private schools moved to public schools and about 860 private schools had to close down. The Department of Education had to implement a modular mode of learning where they transitioned from face-to-face learning to online, print, radio and TV based learning. Both teachers and students needed to adjust to these changes and such big changes also caused a lot of anxiety to teachers, students and also the parents who suddenly found themselves involved in home-schooling. As a sector response, we supported the department of education in three key areas. First is to address the limited access to the internet. At Globe, the sudden increase in demand for data required us to double down on our network builds to improve internet access. This year alone, we’ve invested about 76 billion in cap ex (capital expenditure) to increase our network footprint and upgrade our services. We also worked with DepEd in zero-rating their sources of education content and content platforms to make it easy for teachers and students to get the content that they need, the official content coming from the Department of Education. Second, we supported teachers with professional training to boost their confidence in delivering remote learning. And third, we helped address anxiety amongst teachers, students and parents brought by the pandemic by providing mental wellness programs. For students, there is also a need to equip them with improved functional literacy. You may have come across this study, the latest international assessment of skills and knowledge of our 15 year old students. The Philippines ranked last in reading and second to the last in math and science. We ranked lower than Indonesia and China. Another important point is that the government, our government expenditures and investments for student education are the lowest among all other countries. So Globe is helping students gain functional literacy by empowering communities to make early language literacy content accessible and available through our educational platforms. As part of our commitment to the education sector, we recently launched Go Learn. Go Learn is a unified initiative that brings together products, programs and services that will empower the whole learning ecosystem. It aims to deliver affordable connectivity for all, highly accessible platforms aligned with the current learning set up and safer learning environments to protect our educators and learners from online risks. Go Learn has a wide array of products and services designed exclusively for learners that is very affordable to them. For us in Globe, there is no reason for learning to stop even during a pandemic. To ensure that learners have access to the most relevant content through online and blended learning, we offered free access to education platforms which means that our customers will not incur any data charges when accessing these sites. Under DepEd, free access was given to DepEd Commons and its entire Learning Management System. For CHED, it’s Philippine Connect and for E-TESDA which is the online learning platform of TESDA. To supplement this we also launched a library of online materials with over 800 books and 100 videos under Globe E-Library. This is accessible via the internet and it also comes in a mobile app for both Android and IOS. Globe’s E-Library can be accessed also free of charge. Now we go to the more fundamental changes and initiatives that Globe has done in the past and present during the pandemic. Even prior to this pandemic, Globe has initiated many programs to address the needs of the education sector. One good example is the Global Filipino Schools (GFS) m which aims to transform select public schools into digitally equipped centers of excellence for 21st century learning. Aside from training the teachers on ICT (information and communications technology) and project-based learning, we provided the schools with ICT mobile cart which contains laptops and tablets, a projector and screen plus free internet access. And based on our assessment report, the GFS model helps students research better, connect for emergency purposes, class reports are now prepared using ICT, lessons are presented better with the projector, lessons are also retained better through audio visual materials using ICT equipment. In terms of reach, we have established at least one Global Filipino School at every region in the country. We have a total of 218 public schools that are connected with ICT equipment, teachers training and infrastructure support, 340,000 students are now equipped with digital skills. At the onset of the pandemic we also re-engage our global Filipino teachers with refresher courses and supported their professional development in partnership with the DepEd. We provided the digital skills training to other teachers to help them pivot from face-to-face teaching to online blended learning. To help address anxiety and mental health issues, we provided mental wellness webinars in partnership with the Philippine Mental Health Association. The professional development series are accredited programs under the DepEd National Educators Academy of the Philippines. And this includes digital learning where teachers learn to maximize technology available in delivering online learning including the use of social media; DepEd Commons; teaching through Facebook messenger and possible obstacles we need to be aware of as well as instructional strategies and practices; early language literacy where we equip teachers with the necessary tools that they can use without the need for doing face-to-face teaching, and mental wellness webinar to address overall well-being. Among the topics discussed here are examining your inner struggles, enriching your relationship with others, dealing with grief and loss, and exploring one’s spirituality. An upcoming webinar is also on the wing to support parents in distance learning. In this webinar we hope to tackle social and emotional learning, self-awareness and self-management. Now one of the key catalysts to 21st century readiness is STEM. It is an important branch of learning that will help learners with critical thinking and being adept at using technology. With this, we have piloted a few programs to enhance and nurture the student’s love for STEM. In primary and secondary education, we partnered with Mano Amiga to establish the Globe Maker Lab, an after-school program that provides exercises for better appreciation of STEM. This includes engineering, a basic understanding of electricity and circuitry, robotics, machine learning using Arduino and Raspberry PI, and coding for kids using basic HTML language for web design. For tertiary students, we partnered with the De La Salle University to establish an IT academy where we will design new courses and modules with special focus on ICT education including artificial intelligence. To date, we have trained 49 professors from 10 De La Salle colleges and senior high schools for Technopreneurship 101. Part of the program is a topic on 5G use and how 5G use cases and mobile technology can play a vital role in developing new businesses. Another key support for the education sector is through our award-winning Digital Thumbprint Program. The objective of this program is to educate the youth and parents on digital citizenship and the responsible use of technology. DTP was developed in partnership with SingTel, one of the shareholders of Globe, and Optus, UNICEF and Safer Kids PH. And we are proud to say that the Digital Thumbprint Program has been adopted by the Department of Education as part of its K-12 curriculum. In terms of reach, we have reached 1.9 million students, and going, where we provided access to the programs across all the 17 regions; 115,000 teachers nationwide have gone through the modules and at least 4,000 schools have implemented the program. In terms of our impact, we saw an increase from 74% to 95% awareness on how personal data is used in cyberspace and is now able to discern what’s truly important. We saw a 19% decline in students engaging in group chats or messages with strangers online and a 15% increase in participants who have set their profile settings in Facebook to private. This program has five modules, including the first, is Digital Insight which is designed to teach data privacy and cyber security to young students with topics including password security understanding terms of service which no one ever reads online and a code of conduct when inside a cyber café. Digital Impact is designed to prevent cyber bullying among kids. And then a Digital Discernment is designed to prevent the spread of fake news so it teaches students to differentiate among facts opinions and false information. Digital Ambition is designed to teach students how to be a good capitalist or a catalyst for good using technology. And then finally we also have a Parents Module which is designed to raise awareness on parent responsibility within today’s digital world. Some of the things that are being taught here include the risks to youth or the risk to children when going online and how to keep account secure and how to manage the internet usage of our children. Here are our key learnings with all of the programs and interventions that we have done through the education sector. For workforce readiness, we believe that STEM education is key in developing 21st century learnings, so amongst academe and the rest of the stakeholders in the sector, we are asking the stakeholders to push our students more into STEM education because we believe that this is the future, right? We need to be able to produce more CIOs and more CPIOs in the country. In the same vein that India has done very successfully by delving its population into IT and technology, the Philippines has the talent and the resource to get into IT and technology if only at the younger years we are able to make STEM attractive to our students. So it may need perhaps a different learning environment, perhaps a different modality or teaching skills, but that is the challenge that we raised to the sector. Another thing that we learned is that for distance learning, access to learning content is important. Like I said, while internet connectivity in the country is still growing, growing in the sense that our infrastructure has to be made bigger and more accessible. It has to match the number of Filipinos in terms of our population that want to go into the internet. But as we do that we, also have to get into more learning content so that when students go to the internet, they do not have to do just Facebook. So that is the digital literacy that we need to imbibe in our students. Being a digital savvy person does not entail you being on just on Facebook, but more than that, to use the power of the internet for learning. For online safety, we’ve noted that the responsible use of technology is core to digital citizenship. You know, even I guess, as ordinary consumers when you’re new to something, like perhaps e-payment like GCash, you get into so many things, like you are a victim of fraud, you’re a victim of hackers and so on and so forth, right? So it is important for each and every person to be responsible in terms of protecting their identity, protecting their personal information when they go into the internet, because no one is going to do that for you except yourself. For overall mental wellness, we have to ensure that psychosocial support includes self-care, wellness and resiliency for teachers including the non-teaching personnel and parents are available. One of the things that we’ve learned during this pandemic is the rise of mental health issues and that has to be addressed, right? A lot of people are getting anxious, a lot of people are having a lot of problems dealing with cabin fever maybe, or having to stay inside the home without seeing their friends. Children are not able to see their friends and co-students, right? So this is something that we need to be aware of and there has to be psychosocial support both from the academe level and also from the other stakeholders in the sector. And finally for stakeholder engagement, we have to practice multi-stakeholder collaboration to enable the digital readiness of our learners. This is what we have learned in practicing sustainability, right? It’s so huge; the problems that we have are so big that we cannot do it alone. And so what we need to do is to partner and collaborate with other institutions, even corporate, that have the knowledge and that have the resources to help. And so I am very very much thankful to the Department of Education for being very open to collaboration with corporate institutions like Globe. And with this partnership, we will be able to address some, if not all of the problems that are facing us in the sector. This ends my presentation. Thank you very much and good morning.