PRLog - Dec. 16, 2008 - MANILA, Philippines -- Five hundred pesos (Php500) are enough to make a real difference in a poor child’s life. With that amount you could support one child’s education for a year. With that amount you help a child work out his way out of poverty. With that amount you are propagating the number of Filipino graduates who have adequate and competitive IT skills.
Today’s rising cost of living means many children fail to get a basic education. More unfortunate, our government prioritizes the erection of school buildings over what should be inside them -- advanced facilities and curricula that meet global standards. In fact, many students in the rural areas are yet to see what a computer really looks like.
LiFT (Learning ICT for Tomorrow) was created to counter these inefficiencies by helping to integrate information and communications technology (ICT) on our schools’ curricula. Its mission is to make every Filipino student IT literate.
Each of us can help make this happen. For as low as Php500 a year an individual can adopt one underprivileged child and sponsor his fundamental ICT education, while companies may opt for a corporate sponsorship of up to Php500,000 in annual contributions.
LiFT was born when Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) Philippines enlisted in the Department of Education’s Adopt-A-School program. CAL is the country’s leader in integrating ICT into the school’s curricula. Its ICT learning solutions are now widely used nationwide, both in public and private institutions.
One of CAL’s success stories is helping the Division of Cebu Province Schools in improving their students’ ICT curriculum that led to their winning the Php10 million grant from Microsoft. This is tangible proof that if a poor child can learn IT they can equal, if not surpass, kids from urban areas. IT is the great equalizer in bridging the gap between theories and real skills.
LiFT works with other private groups to help fund its computer training program for selected schools located in different parts of the country. Thus the donors provided the cash, they provided the curriculum and DepEd was happy with the program since the scholarships went to public school students. Even individuals have joined the program by adopting one child with annual donations of only Php500.
“We have a vision which we tagged OMG, or One Million Geeks. Which means we are eyeing to provide IT education to at least a million Filipino public school students,” shared CAL’s CEO Leo Riingen. “We want to achieve this by 2010, so we barely have 26 months to hit the number.”
Annual sponsorship types are Php500 for one child, Php25,000 for 50 children, Php10,000 for 200 students or around four classes, and Php500,000 for 20 classes.
The sponsors will have the option to choose from which region they wish to adopt a school, a class, or a student. LiFT fills one school of 1,000 students per region first before opening up another school for sponsorship.
Donors who will give significant amounts will be entitled to tax benefits. Their names will also be included on the Sponsors’ List at the LiFT website. Moreover, they will receive e-mail updates of the school or class that they adopted.
As part of the program’s medium term plan, LiFT wishes to partner with companies, organizations, and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to help public school graduates who studied under the program get a job. High school students may still be young upon graduation but will already be fully equipped with relevant IT skills.
“The long term plan is for our scholars to come full circle,” says Howell Mabalot, LiFT program director. “We hope that they themselves will eventually adopt students and provide scholarships to those underprivileged kids.”
Most importantly, LiFT wants to be the catalyst in propelling the Filipino youth towards becoming globally competitive in the IT industry. Thus, attracting more organizations, companies, and individuals to join the bandwagon in LiFTing one life at a time via sponsorships and donations.
Learn more about LiFT and how you can become a sponsor, visit www.caleduc.com/
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LIFT is a special program created by Computer Assisted Learning (CAL), the country’s leader in providing quality computer-based education.
Our school system is ill equipped to provide poor children the basic education they need. Thus, CAL LIFT enables underprivileged children to have ICT education, through donations from concerned citizens or corporations.