Name: Avelino Jr Mejia
Organisation: Commission on Information and Communications Technology
Role: Project Officer
I am an officer for the eSkwela Project, which is a flagship project of the Philippine Commission on Information and Communications Technology through its Human Capital Development Group (CICT-HCDG), in partnership with the Department of Education – Bureau of Alternative Learning System (DepEd-BALS). The primary aim of eSkwela is to provide educational opportunities to Filipino Out-of-School Youth and Adults (OSYAs) enhanced by Information and Communications Technology (ICT). The eSkwela Project responds directly to a national development priority and will bring learning opportunities and resources enhanced by ICT to mobile teachers or instructional managers and OSYA learners in the Philippines in an exciting, innovative, and locally meaningful way. OSYAs can participate in eSkwela learning sessions to prepare them for the DepEd-administered Accreditation and Equivalency exam (A&E); by passing this exam, the learners will obtain a DepEd certification which is an equivalent of a high school diploma. Through eSkwela, the OSYAs have an opportunity to finish secondary education, rejoin the formal system, look for better jobs, aspire for a vocational/technical degree, and more importantly obtain life skills that are practical and useful to them. To date, there are six eSkwela Centers all over the country, all of which are now being implemented and sustained by their local communities. CICT has also received numerous inquiries from LGUs, local DepEd offices, and civic organizations/NGOs on how to bring the eSkwela project to their community. The efforts of the project’s partners and its existing Centers was acknowledged by UNESCO, as eSkwela received a Certificate of Commendation in its recent ICT in Education Innovation Awards. I am responsible for coordinating with the different eSkwela initiatives in the Philippines, as well as in the development of a Monitoring and Evaluation mechanism for the project.