Philippines has a number of amazing pilots underway. The grassroots eKindling group reports some remarkable success stories from their Lubang program, and have helped the province of Occidental Mindoro build on that success.
e.Studyante recently launched at the Manuel L. Quezon Elementary School in Tondo, Manila. The program focuses on engaging education, supported by technology: it distributes XOs to students, provides other tools and training for teachers, and includes vetting and updating educational software and materials. It aims to make learning “fun, empowering, relevant, and easier” for kids, and to reach 1 million primary students by its 100th anniversary in 24 years – roughly 40,000 a year.
Chad Sotelo, P&G’s Country Marketing Manager, explained:
“We intend for this to complement traditional learning methods and tools instead of competing with them… A laptop and Internet connectivity becomes [their] window to the world’s knowledge and places it at their fingertips in real-time. People and places they had no access to before are now within their reach. These tools expand their horizons and minds and encourage them to dream and attain a brighter future.”
The program is funded in part through the sale of P&G promo packs, at retail outlets across the country; part of the price of each pack goes to the program.
The eKindling grassroots group gave a lovely update of their work in the Philippines, last month in San Francisco. They have been working with the province of Occidental Mindoro for some years. This began with the Lubang pilot, spearheaded by Mayor Juan Sanchez and financed by his friends from National Computer Center Community Outreach, Metrobank, and many other anonymous donors. eKindling’s counterpart contribution in this pilot was the education programming and training of teachers, students, parents, and local support team.
More recently, Governor Ramirez-Sato has begun an expanded initiative on Mindoro Island. Elementary schools of the four southern municipalities, San Jose, Calintaan, Magsaysay, and Rizal, will be receiving another 550 XOs later this year. With Lubang in the north and these four in the south, can the rest of the province be far behind?
The Occidental Mindoro team conducted a baseline readiness survey in March, visiting some of the schools. This was the children’s first chance to use the laptops. Since then, there have been two training sessions with teachers from all involved schools, in June and October, and a training session with champion students from all schools in June.
They took photos of their visit to the San Jose Pilot Elementary school. Two of my favorites:
The new pilots are being advised (kindled!) by eKindling and managed by the local school system, an excellent example of government/grassroots collaboration. Thanks to both groups for capturing this day in the life of the schools, and for making it possible.
The eKindling project, a classroom XO project on the island of Lubang in the Philippines, is making good progress. They are supported by roughly 100 donors and organizers from across the Philippines. After a consultation visit this past winter, they recently purchased XOs for their school. They wrote up a project checklist, a 5-day teacher workshop schedule, and formed contacts with OLPC Friends, OLPC New Zealand, and Squeakland.