Team Tabang, from the schools division of Roxas City, wanted to create an app that would provide reliable emergency response for their community, especially since their province Capiz experiences recurring heavy rainfall. This goal and their app eventually led them to win the top spot at the TCS goIT Digital Innovation Fair 2022, a tech innovation program by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS) in partnership with the Department of Education in Region 6.
TCS, the leading global IT services, consulting, and business solutions organization in the Philippines, recently concluded its 2022 leg of the annual TCS goIT Digital Innovation Fair in Iloilo City, where 30 teams of students from different schools in Western Visayas showcased their digital innovation proposals answering community problems in the region.
The semi-finalists from 21 school divisions in the region exhibited their genius digital innovation during the awarding ceremony held at the Grand Xing Hotel in Iloilo City last October 27, 2022.
The TCS goIT Program aims to demystify computer science and to encourage students to pursue STEM education. Rooted in the design thinking process, the program encourages an empathic approach to problem solving and has successfully introduced to the students digital technologies and agile methodologies that would help students learn skills needed for a digital-first future.
“Here at TCS Philippines, one of our goals is to shape future digital innovators as we see great potential among our students. We aim to contribute to the Department of Education’s 2030 Basic Education Development Plan by helping them produce learners that are ready to face the digital future with acquired skills important in the IT industry.” said Shiju Varghese, TCS Country Manager. “This year’s batch of winners are indeed deserving of their titles, and I am very proud to have seen such great projects for the goIT Digital Innovation Fair this year.”
A spotlight on Western Visayas digital innovators
Implemented in 21 school divisions this year in the Western Visayas region, the TCS goIT program has reached a total of 1,700 students in 170 schools. This yielded more than 200 digital innovation app ideas that can solve their community problems – aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals. Through this year’s programs, participants learned industry context and real-world scenarios, providing them a better grasp of how to produce their projects.
From over 80 division winners, 30 semi-finalists showcased their digital innovations face-to-face in Iloilo City. From these semi-finalists, the top 10 participants were recognized and had the chance to further present their projects to a panel of judges.
This year, the project from team Tabang won as champions. The emergency mobile assistance app provided a simple yet effective way to call for responders when unexpected situations and emergencies happen. Those in danger can simply press one button and a text message calling for help will be sent to the proper authorities.
I am quite overwhelmed because we did not expect to even be in the top 5, and finally all of our work, trainings, and efforts have borne the sweetest fruit,” said Devine Grace Acurantes, team member of the winning mobile app, Tabang.
“We couldn’t have done this without our supportive coach, parents, and schools division. Our app can have such a big impact, especially right now, as I have read in the news, that Roxas City has been experiencing a lot of rainfall. My only hope was to have integrated this app earlier, as it could be very helpful for those in the community,” Acurantes added.
Bagging the 2nd place title was the app SIGHTS (Sensory Imagery Giving Help to Sightless), from the schools division of Capiz, which aimed to aid visually challenged individuals with everyday communication tasks, with speech-to-text features and voice command. It also has an audio library where a compilation of learning resources may be accessed.
Time Capsule, from the schools division of Roxas City, whose innovation is a medicine reminder app targeted towards senior citizens, secured 3rd place. Its features include a time tab which summarizes a patient’s prescription – including information about the drug, the dosage, and intake instructions.
It was Agrigrow from Sipalay City, an app that supports farmers productivity, and PinkWisely of Bago City, an awareness app on Pink Tax that helps provide information on cheap alternatives for common women’s commodities, that secured the 4th and 5th places, respectively.
Many of this year’s projects focused on solving pressing challenges in their respective communities: disaster risk reduction, waste disposal, digital assistance for farmers and fishermen, climate change awareness, and distance learning assistance, to name a few.
“I am in awe of the talents and skills that our young innovators from the Western Visayas region have exhibited at the TCS goIT Digital Innovation Fair 2022. Here in DepEd Region VI, we are glad to see how quickly our students are learning to adapt to technology and be digital-first,” said Dr. Ramir B. Uytico, CESO III, DepEd Regional Director for Western Visayas.
“With our Vice President and Education Chief’s mandate to strengthen IT education and training not only for our students but also for our teachers, we are grateful for programs like goIT and partners like TCS who help us achieve our goals for our local education sector. We thank TCS for providing our learners with the knowledge needed to produce brilliant projects that greatly contribute to each of their communities,” Uytico added.
Building on Belief, Building for the future
With “Building on Belief” as TCS’ core value, the organization aims to continue its initiative to help more young minds improve their technology skills and build more digital innovations like these to build and support communities.
Patrick Veril, TCS Philippines CSR Manager, saw great potential in this year’s batch of innovators in the Western Visayas region. “We are glad to finally have our TCS goIT Digital Innovation Fair held face to face in Iloilo City. I have seen one of the most promising batches of goIT learners and exhibitors, and we are only in our second leg of the program. We have more talents to see and cultivate across the country, and we are very glad that DepEd has become a key partner in helping us realize our program’s vision”, Veril shared.
The TCS goIT program is a signature community engagement program present in North America, LATAM, Europe, and the Asia Pacific, with programs and projects that answer the specific needs of local communities in each region. TCS Philippines aims to bring the goIT program across different regions in the Philippines in the coming years to better equip young minds with industry-relevant skills needed for the digital-first future.
As of 2022, the goIT program has already reached over 100,000 students globally.