Gerard is a Marketing Associate at Eskwelabs. He's been working on Aral-Aral, Eskwelabs’ free Data Science Prep-course, serving as the team lead for this initiative.
The Aral-Aral we see today has been over a year in the making and now has about 800+ community members composed of students, data science enthusiasts, freelancers, and life-long learners.
He is also a member of the National Alliance of Youth Leaders and is the President of the Mapua University Central Student Council.
What is the state of Aral-Aral now? What have you been up to?
We’ve been working on this free course for almost a year now and it has over 800+ community members.
This prep-course aims to give easy and affordable data science learning materials to all people of different socio-economic backgrounds. A totally free course like this is currently non-existent in the Philippines market.
Right now, the team and I are working on integrating the current learning materials we have (in our Aral-Aral Facebook group) into our learning management system, so that learning can easily be tracked and managed by both the learner and Eskwelabs.
How do you see the impact of this project that you are working on?
Industry 4.0 is starting to gain traction in the Philppines, and it is obvious that there is a skills gap in the country—skills in Data and AI.
Since the start of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila, our Aral-Aral community group has seen a surge of membership. From 250 members to 800+ members—people who wanted to learn the basics and foundations of Data Science.
With the current skills gap in the country, we are trying to make sure that in the future of work, nobody gets left behind.
How does this project affect the overall state of Education in the Philippines?
The COVID-19 global pandemic made us realize that we need to rethink our current systems, and education is one of them. Since the suspension of classes, schools have shifted to adopt an “Online Learning” setup so students can still move forward with education.
However, it is obvious that not all students have the capability to learn using a fully online setup. It could be said otherwise in Adult Learning, where learning is optional and voluntary.
Our LinkedIn contacts, fellow professionals in the workforce and in universities, and some other groups have decided to devote their time to upskill and learn new things.
Education serves several audiences. We must rethink our current systems and redesign learning experiences, especially in a post-pandemic world.