In today's world, more than 50 percent of the world's population is under the age of 30. That demographic, increasingly empowered by new technologies, is a potential driver of economic and social progress. And I've been immersed and trained as well on the challenges of youth and education in this country through RAFI's (Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.) YMA - Young Minds Academy, a youth, citizenship, education, leadership and development training program.
I have always been that (out-of-place, industrial) engineer with an inclination to ICT, and I'm quite proud of that. And since then I've been trying, in my own little way to Bridge the Digital Gap of Industry-Education in IT-BPO by engaging in Speaking Engagements. I've done so far, about more than 40 speaking engagements and I still believe I still have lots to learn and work on as well as so much to do!
I've ran a non-profit organization namely, the Cebu Bloggers Society, Inc., by being it's President back in 2010-2011 as well as being the VP-Social Media for the Media Information Network for Nutrition and Development in region 7 under the National Nutrition Council-7. At the same time I've dabbled in the Technology Services industry by engaging in my own Start-up business in which I've also closed down.
All these experiences of ups and downs gave me a lot of experiences and PERSPECTIVE. I've also learned to harness my being a Social-Digital-Influencer by actively using my voice, both in blogging and in Public Speaking by doing knowledge sharing and transfers whenever I can and this allowed me to meet a lot of people and learn from them. Now I could talk on and on all day on ICT in words but technology simplifies things or even makes for a dynamic way of communication.
I've made a slide presentation below that I believe, captures my thoughts in helping update students and teachers alike in the Academe about my observations on Information, Communications Technology (or the trend these days IT-BPO) in the Philippines! This lecture-presentation was done last December 2012 at the USC-TC campus with Pasarelle Numeriques student scholars! :)
Note: I've also written about my experience as a Guest Lecturer and the people I've met in Print Media, shown below after the slides. Enjoy!
Here's the uploaded and downloadable slide presentation I created and used for this lecture. Enjoy!
Below is the excerpt of the feature article I made published in Print (see digital version here):
Digital Bridges for the Youth
CEBU, Philippines - Passerelles Numériques (Digital Bridges) brings young people from poor backgrounds towards a qualified job in a promising area, and gives them a real opportunity to become actors in the development of their country.
Ricky J. C. Bagahansol was one of these students who benefited. Now, he’s a young professional. He recalls: “It never crossed my mind that I will be able to go to college. Even before graduating in high school, I was already actively participating in a local youth group which was the RCYO - Right Circle Youth Organization under Nazareth Children—pero wala nani ni-exist karon.
“For a couple of years, I was enjoying my exposure and experience with the group but of course we didn’t have much so I worked for a local construction company immediately after I turned 18. I did ‘manual labor sort-of-work’ together with my father. After more than a year, I realized that it was really difficult working, seeing ‘the real world’ with my own eyes. But an opportunity came up wherein I was informed from my community circles that a French NGO was looking for qualified youth to become scholars for college.
“I didn’t expect to be accepted since I was no longer fresh from high school but I had to try nonetheless. Everything was new to me since I was exposed to entrance exams, interviews, home visits. It was all worth it when I got in.”
He was part of the first batch of PN scholars for Cebu, one of the 24 graduates of the pioneering program. He shared this message as an alumni of the program to the upcoming beneficiary youth: “Ayaw lang mo kalimot kung asa mo gikan...” Also, one of his favorite quotes is from Steve Jobs: “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” Being challenged in life is inevitable, but being defeated is indeed optional.
Ricky is now employed with one of the biggest IT-BPO companies in the country, but he still finds time to give back to the organization that helped him. He is volunteering either by joining in the search for qualified youth or through mentoring, by doing BLTs (Business Life Trainings) that enables him to share what he has learned in the industry to the new batch of 90+ freshmen scholars of PN; this is to bridge that gap of industry-academe learning experience which will definitely put these students at an advantage from the rest.
PASSERELLES NUMERIQUES (Digital Bridges) is a French NGO established in 2005. Its advocacy is to provide IT education and job opportunities to the most underprivileged youngsters.
The first training center was launched in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2005, offering training in Systems and Network Administration (SNA). Today, there are more than 150 students that graduate in Phnom Penh every year and 90% of them get a qualified job within two months after graduation. Their average wages are 3 to 4 times the average wage of Cambodia. With this success, Passerelles Numeriques decided to expand to other countries in Asia and selected the Philippines and Vietnam, where similar projects were launched.
In the Philippines, Passerelles Numeriques launched its project in 2009. It has its own student center in Cebu City where students from the Visayas and Mindanao are housed. These students are selected based on performance, motivation and social background. There are 69 students who are currently enrolled in the program. They follow a 3-year Systems and Network Administration curriculum at the University of San Carlos.
For more information, visit http://www.passerellesnumeriques.org/philippines/