Train teachers with digital skills to create valuable, better workforce

File photo
File photo

A STAKEHOLDER in the tech industry has emphasized the need for teachers to undergo more tech and artificial intelligence (AI)-related training so it could help schools produce AI-empowered graduates.

Eugene Paden, chief technology officer at Ray Business Technologies (RBT), said the “biggest problem” of the Philippines is the lack of people “who can teach, share, and who has the industry experience, to bring these (tech advancements) into the classroom setting.”

Paden in a recent Innovation and Technology Summit and Expo of the Cebu Business Month underscored the need for the industry and the academe to deepen their collaboration and improve the foundational skills being taught to students so they become more than ready to handle even complex tasks when they join the industry.

“We’ve hired so many new graduates but we need to train at least six to 12 months. That’s a lot of investment for companies like us before they can be effective,” he said.

Paden acknowledged that the skills mismatch has long been a problem in the country and is even more challenging in the tech industry simply because technology is always dynamic and evolving. Add to that a curriculum that is no longer relevant or attuned to the present needs of the industry.

“We are having difficulty finding the right candidates,” said Paden. “What we have noticed is that the new graduates are mostly not ready to work immediately.”

Gregg Gabison, who is a former dean at the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R), said the industry and the academe had long forged partnership to bridge and narrow the gap but such a collaboration should be a continuing endeavor.

Gabison, who is the country head of RBT in the Philippines, noted that most of the faculty who teach tech-related courses have no industry experience, thus it is a challenge for the academe to really meet the expectations of the industry.

Paden said one of the initiatives of RBT is to forge a continuing partnership with the USJ-R to provide faculty immersion for the teachers to acquire industry knowledge and skills to impart to their students.

“This will be a continuing immersion for the faculty,” he said.

Paden believes absorbing what these trained teachers will impart will not be a struggle for students because Filipinos are born followers.

“We just need the right people to show students how things are done. We have the brain power, we have the skillsets,” he said, adding that Filipinos are also known to have the right work behavior and attitude and can easily connect with the culture of the West.

“What we need are workers who can serve clients in a world-class manner,” he said. “We need to prepare them to become valuable employees.”

Expansion in PH, more job hiring

RBT is an Indian-owned company headquartered in the US. The company entered the Philippine market in August 2021 with an office in Minglanilla, Cebu.

From five employees the company grew to 30.

Paden said they hope to end 2024 with 100 employees.

Gabison said RBT offers end-to-end IT solutions for business application development, artificial intelligence, enterprise collaboration solutions, testing, cloud computing, and IT infrastructure management to organizations in the banking and finance, insurance, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, media and entertainment, leisure, and travel, telecom and energy and utilities.

Its clients are in the US, Australia, Canada and the Philippines. RBT is a CMMI Level 3 company and a technology solutions provider with 13 years of business experience.

Globally, RBT is eyeing to hire at least 300 associates. 

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