Internet connectivity has been an issue that has plagued the educational system over the past two years. A pressing problem in the far-flung areas in the country and even in some parts of Metro Manila is the issue of intermittent or no internet connectivity at all.
Every student deserves the opportunity to access learning resources despite accessibility issues. It is equally important that the country’s education system is also improved so that students will be prepared to face the highly competitive workforce.
One company that is passionate about education is Subway. Subway is the world’s largest submarine sandwich chain with more than 34,000 locations around the world. Subway understands that it takes more than just good food to nourish people and build vibrant communities. It starts with taking care of people, the heart and soul of the Subway experience.
One way of taking care of people is to provide opportunities for the future generation to get the best education that is available. To celebrate its 26th anniversary, Subway will be partnering with Critical Links and e-Dris, to launch the School-in-the-Box initiative.
Critical Links is a pioneer in delivering innovative e-Learning infrastructure for the next generation of schools, especially in challenging environments. E-Dris, on the other hand, is a company that offiers online and offline education through Micro-Cloud Architecture, Hybrid Learning or through Instant Access or Content.
“The past two years has shown us how important internet connectivity is for our children. Those with better internet connectivity do much better in school because of better access to online educational resources,” said Joshua Wahiman, marketing manager of Subway.
“Our partnership with Critical Links and e-Dris will be able to benefit more children so that they will have a better opportunity to achieve excellence in education,” he added.
Under the School-in-a-Box initiative, schools that do not have access to the internet will be given an opportunity to optimize technology and allow students to benefit from a 21st century education. The program will be piloted in a school in Metro Manila that has infrastructure limitations such as power outages and fluctuations and is often cut off from the Internet and cloud based resources due to the lack of regular or robust connectivity.
“This will be our way of supporting the Department of Education in the attainment of their goal of bridging the digital divide,” Wahiman said.
CLOUD BASED ENVIRONMENT
The program will utilize the C3 Micro-Cloud, a self-contained, cloud-enabled environment that allows the provisioning of content, resources, and management to local students and teachers even if they do not have access to the Internet. The server can support up to 50 devices at a time and is ideal for a library, laboratory or a facility room.
“Content in the form of texts and other resources can be centrally curated in the C3 Cloud Control portal by those responsible for curriculum and distributed to any authorized C3 Micro-Cloud regardless of where it is, whenever a network link becomes available,” Atty. Rainier Butalid, CEO of e-DRIS Inc. and Syed Darwish Bederi III of Critical links explained.
With the C3 Micro-Cloud any school can use podcasts, e-books, quizzes, and learning games, allowing students to seek and gather information on their own under the guidance of their teachers instead of passively receiving only the hardcopy of information available in books.
“This School-in-the-Box initiative is going to be a game changer in the provinces because even if there is limited or sporadic bandwidth, lack of connectivity, rigid security and usage restrictions, schools can use the C3 Micro-Cloud to bring 21st century learning and discovery to their students,” Wahiman said.
“Together with our partners, we will be opening a world of learning and opportunity to students in schools anywhere,” he added.