Xavier University (XU) Ateneo Night School Program was recognized by Lenovo as an Outstanding Tech Visionary at the recently concluded 16th TAYO (Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations) Awards ceremony. The XU Night School leverages technology to provide alternative education to drop-outs, out-of-school youth, and street children living in Cagayan de Oro City.
Lenovo Philippines Country General Manager Michael Ngan said, “We’re proud to give the Outstanding Tech Visionary Award to an organization whose goal is to make education available to out-of-school youth. At Lenovo, we believe that education is everyone’s right and it plays a major role in uplifting society. XU Night School’s use of technology makes them exceptional as it opens a wide assortment of courses and specializations that the students can choose from.”
The program, which started in 2016, aims to provide youth access to education and help them pass the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Acceleration and Equivalency test (A&E), which will allow them to return to formal schooling.
“The project started out as an advocacy from volunteers coming from various universities and schools in Cagayan de Oro,” said Edchelle Rellama, XU Night School Volunteer-Teacher. “We began with street children living in the Divisoria area as our beneficiaries, but now that we have developed the program and institutionalized it, we are now also taking in adults who are drop-outs and out-of-school youth.”
The XU Night School program is a 10-month curriculum based on DepEd’s Alternative Learning System (ALS) modules, further enhanced with lessons that ensures holistic development. These lessons include leadership training, values formation and sports classes which are aimed at improving students’ confidence and self-esteem.
After they pass the A&E exam, students can either take scholarship entry exams to different schools or study in a technical-vocational school for early employment opportunities.
The program’s most recent batch had 10 out of 17 students (59 percent) who passed the A&E exam and are set to go back to mainstream school program. The XU program also had one graduate who chose to attend a technical-vocational school and is now employed as a qualified NC II Pipefitter.
Putting people first through technology
XU Night School’s modified ALS curriculum is further enhanced with the use of technology, which makes learning easier as it provides a much more interactive learning experience.
To bolster the presence of technology in the lessons, the XU Night School partnered with the Department of Information and Communications Technology, which provides the necessary equipment and devices for interactive and informative lessons.
In addition to the Outstanding Tech Visionary Award, Lenovo bestowed the XU Night School Program a cash grant of P20,000 and a Lenovo laptop.
Recognized as a global leader in technological innovation, Lenovo has been the exclusive technology partner of the TAYO Awards Foundation since 2012. The company provides the selection committee laptops and tablets that are used throughout the entire selection and awarding process.
Now on its 16th year, TAYO is considered the nation’s premier search for outstanding youth organizations that have created a huge impact in addressing the country’s pressing concerns.
“We congratulate the TAYO Awards for the successful culmination of TAYO 16. Truly, we are honored to be partners once again and every year, we are thankful for the opportunity as it introduces us to outstanding youth organizations whose goal is to create a better community in their own ways. Their dedication inspires everyone to never quit and strive for success while also putting others first, which is something we at Lenovo always commit to do,” said Ngan.