PASAY CITY – In recognition of their efforts in making education accessible to all Filipino students, sole Philippine representative Edukasyon.ph has been awarded during the 2017 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Youth Social Entrepreneurship Awards and Conference that was held in the city yesterday.
“It is incredibly humbling to be receiving this award, which I believe validates the impact that we, at Edukasyon.ph have made. But more importantly, this will empower us to scale further in the Philippines to help more students, and expand into other ASEAN countries, to fulfill our vision of every ASEAN student getting an education that prepares them for employment,” Edukasyon.ph CEO and founder Henry Motte-Muñoz gave during the awarding.
He added that the education to employment mismatch is an issue that occurs not only in the Philippines but in other parts of the world as well. “Through an accessible and innovative solution, Edukasyon.ph helps students have an informed choice and find the right school leading to enhanced employability.”
“The education mismatch affecting the transition from education to careers is not only a third world agenda but an international concern that needs to be addressed,” Motte-Muñoz further commented.
Citing their learnings in launching www.edukasyon.ph as a free online education resource in the Philippines, Motte-Muñoz underscored the importance of guiding students to the right education to ensure their future success. “Preparing for your career as early as high school is as crucial as making the decision about the job you want to have when you graduate college.”
“The education journey of a student is a shared responsibility between parents, schools, and local communities. However, there is an information gap between these facets that has led to our country’s recurring problems such as job mismatch or unemployment,” he said.
The award was given by the National Youth Commission (NYC) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in celebration of the 50th ASEAN founding anniversary. Young social entrepreneurs from the ASEAN member states were also recognized for various initiatives that brought positive impact on their communities.
Growing international concern
In the Philippines, a 2016 Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) report showed that almost half of unemployed persons in the country are from the 18-24 age group. “One key cause of poverty in the country is the 30% youth unemployment rate due to job skills mismatch or low relevance and unaffordable higher education,” Motte-Muñoz cited.
“But this is not an isolated case. There are districts in other countries where unemployment rates nearly twice as high as the rest of the country.”
Motte-Muñoz further commented that more initiatives are needed to counter this problem and that groups in the education technology sector and the government “must connect their roles to stay relevant and address this concern.”
“Just yesterday, we launched a nationwide education fair that will be held in various cities around the country. In doing this, we are able to empower students by making higher education opportunities a lot more accessible and reachable through www.edukasyon.ph. They can now search and apply online to schools or scholarships,” he said.
“Moreover, we want to widen the knowledge of the students on the real-life application of their chosen senior high tracks or college courses.”
The ASEAN awardee also pointed out that the collaboration between government and the private social enterprise can provide sustainable solutions to this global problem. “Learning from the challenges in our past, there is a need for all of us to provide a venue where students will be guided as they discover the right track fit for them and apply to the right school that would cater their needed education,” Motte-Muñoz said.
“Along with our partners from the private sector and government, we can bring students closer to the right educational opportunities and to scholarships as well. Our online platform is open to all students for free, and we believe this is a service that all students should have access to,” Motte-Muñoz further commented.