Global information technology service provider Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) declared the pilot run of its goIT program in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) a success after the participating high school students presented their mobile app projects in a digital innovation fair on Sept. 29. 

“We believe in helping the youth in ways and means that will prepare them for future employment in a digital era,” said Shiju Varghese, country manager of TCS Philippines, during the media roundtable where they presented the program’s outcome. 

The online workshops, which lasted five days, reached 283 students across 22 schools in CAR. A total of 46 mobile app outputs were produced after extensive modules that built participants’ design, critical thinking, public speaking, and problem-solving skills.  

Aside from CAR, the goIT program was launched in Western Visayas, in communities that are also underrepresented compared to urban hubs like Manila and Cebu.  

“We want to empower global communities, especially in the Philippines, with regard to IT, especially now during the pandemic where we saw the digital transformation of a lot of companies,” said Patrick Jay S. Veril, TCS Philippines’ corporate social responsibility manager. “That’s why we’re focusing on goIT — because we want to encourage students to take up STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).”  

Some of the program’s goals are to demystify computer science and spark curiosity in the Filipino youth outside of the major cities, so they can become leaders in support of technological development, he added.  

As for the decision to have the pilot run in CAR, the education department’s assistant director in the region, Florante E. Vergara, said: “We are geographically isolated and some of our schools are in far-flung areas. When this was introduced to us, we grabbed the opportunity for the sake of students in such areas.”  

The apps produced by the students were also encouraged to have a good impact in their respective communities and align with the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.   

“Due to preventive measures for COVID-19, the program was done virtually,” added Mr. Vergara. “We are looking forward to having it face to face in the future.” — Bronte H. Lacsamana