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Project on digital game-based reading intervention from UP and La Salle wins top prize at inaugural TCS Sustainathon in the Philippines

Leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS) concluded TCS Sustainathon Philippines 2021 last January 28, 2022 in an exclusive online event, with the students from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine and De La Salle University Manila bagging the top place with their entry Read-IO Works.

Many challenges and issues came to fore when the country’s education sector embraced distance and flexible learning amid the pandemic. Foremost of these are lack of resources, internet access, and a clear and stable line of communication between teachers and students. Through TCS Sustainathon Philippines 2021, TCS hopes to encourage and empower the Filipino youth in using technology to explore solutions for these problems, which their generation experiences first-hand, and collaborate with local stakeholders such as businesses and schools.

Students from various parts of the Philippines pitched their proposed solutions for the local theme. Among the submissions, 10 groups successfully made it to the finals.

The technologies developed by the teams involve web and mobile applications, wherein different programs are incorporated to provide convenience and flexibility in education.

TCS Sustainathon Philippines 2021 first place Read-IO Works developed Read-IO. The team comprises of Jose Javier Lasala and Janos Lance Tiberio. Their entry dove into realizing a deep-learning enabled, digital game-based reading intervention centered on phonics and oral reading fluency. The invention gives way to evidence-based instruction as well as game-based assessments that is not only accessible for offline use, but leverages the gadget distribution initiatives of the Department of Education. With Read-IO, it’s all the more possible to improve students’ reading comprehension, spelling, letter-sound knowledge, and all the other indicators of literacy.

SchoNEXT won second place. Prince Loven Abestano, Abe Apao, Esmael Amatonding, and Gwyneth Chiu explored the bounds of technology in their entry, where they seek to create a distraction-free, student-centered virtual environment for studying. Indeed, distance learning has brought in a huge change into how students learn today. As students study from their homes, an effective, self-regulated studying habit and system can go a long way—and this is what SchoNEXT aims to highlight with this virtual studying environment.

Third place went to GOLS: Gamified Online Learning Space delivered by Racquel Moran, Lance Sangcal, and Migs Ganzon. Their entry is about gamifying students’ online learning space which helps in initiating active thinking and peer-to-peer learning through interactive games. More than anything, learning is best done with peers where students can not only learn vital knowledge, but develop values of teamwork and leadership.

TCS Sustainathon Philippines 2021 Finals’ third and second placers will take home Php50,000 and Php100,000, respectively. The champion will receive Php150,000 in cash prize. TCS Sustainathon Philippines 2021 was in partnership with the Asian Development Bank, Converge ICT Solutions, Inc., Gokongwei Brothers Foundation, De La Salle-College of St. Benilde, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Philippines, Inc., Edukasyon.ph, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth, and ADB Southeast Asia Development Solutions (SEADS).

“TCS Sustainathon Philippines showed us the extensive knowledge and passion of the younger generation to deliver solutions to improve the current situation of our education sector. We, together with our partners, are all impressed with the work that we saw coming from these students and how they utilized technology for the better. We are looking forward to see what their initiatives can achieve and how these can help them and the country,” says TCS Philippines Country Head Shiju Varghese.

The champion and second placer will also compete against the Sustainathon winners from Singapore and Malaysia at the TCS Sustainathon ASEAN finale later this year.

Written by Gabriel

Introvert, wanderer, blogger, foodie, a hip-hop music writer, and one of the co-founders of a tech start-up company called GigsManila.

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