SOME 600 senior high school students in Cebu City will be given the opportunity to develop an application that would help solve real world problems.

IBM and Education Development Center (EDC) inked a partnership on Tuesday for the roll out of the Cebu Innovation Boot Camp, which will start next month. Five public senior high schools in Cebu will benefit from the project, which will run for two years.

The Cebu Innovation Boot Camp aims to promote the readiness of the youth for employment and to increase their competitiveness in the workplace by demonstrating both their technical and work readiness skills.

According to IBM Philippines country manager Luis Pineda, the bootcamp is in line with IBM’s focus on disruptive technologies to accelerate innovation, as well as IBM’s corporate social responsibility program’s focus to strengthen K-12 education.

Pineda said that in this partnership, senior high school students will be given the opportunity to solve real world problems by developing and deploying applications using the IBM Bluemix cloud platform - a modular set of infrastructure services where they can scale on virtual servers and build microservices with event-driven models.

Their training will include master classes so they can be familiar with the latest information technologies, ideation sessions to let them apply what they’ve learned, prototyping a model of their solution, and pitch their solution to a panel of judges for evaluation.

The Cebu Innovation Bootcamp, which will be done in batches, is also in collaboration with the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board, Department of Education, and the Department of Information and Communication Technology.

Angelique Roux, Philippines manager of EDC’s Project Aware, welcomed its partnership with IBM, saying that the bootcamp will enable students to prepare themselves for the digital economy.

EDC has been implementing Project Aware in NCR and Cebu for the past two years. The project touched on soft skills training and work immersion methods.

This year, Roux said they have added the digital component in the project, knowing that today’s youth is facing a different landscape at work.

“The digital economy demands that our youth be ready with the different set of literacies, competencies and qualities,” said Roux.

Citing a World Economic Forum report New Vision for Education: Fostering Social and Emotional Learning Through Technology released in 2016, Roux said there are 16 skills that students must posses in the 21st century to succeed in the evolving digital economy.

These are literacy, numeracy, scientific literacy, ICT literacy, financial literacy, cultural and civic literacy, critical thinking and problem solving, creativity, communication, collaboration, curiosity, initiative, persistence/grit, adaptability, leadership and social and cultural awareness.