Digital Education, ending poverty & inequality

by Passerelles numeriques (PN)
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Digital Education, ending poverty & inequality
Digital Education, ending poverty & inequality
Digital Education, ending poverty & inequality
Digital Education, ending poverty & inequality
Digital Education, ending poverty & inequality
Digital Education, ending poverty & inequality
Digital Education, ending poverty & inequality
Success story
Success story

Our mission is to unlock the potential of underprivileged youth by empowering them with innovative education in key digital and soft employability skills. We work with our partners to effectively break the cycle of poverty for youth and their families as well as increasing equal access for girls in education. 

The young people we train are virtually guaranteed to get a qualified job with a salary that will provide them with decent living conditions for the rest of their lives.

Based on the PNV Alumni Survey 2022, 99% of our 390 alumni have found qualified jobs after graduation with an average salary of ~$755 per month – which is 4 times higher than the minimum wage in Danang. This benefit reaches far beyond our graduates themselves; they reported spending ~31% of their total income to support their family and community.

In 2021, PNV has been honored to receive 2 certificates of merit from the People’s Committee of Da Nang city and the Service Center for Da Nang Foreign Affairs – Da Nang’s Department of Foreign Affairs for the contributions over the past 11 years to bring over the development of the underprivileged community.

Our model ensures lifetime employability, which allows our beneficiaries a sustainable exit from poverty. And thanks to a butterfly effect, we also help the families of our students (improvement of living conditions, access to education for younger brothers and sisters, etc.).

Thus 1 student supported by Passerelles numériques means at least 5 people helped.

Your support directly changesthe life of young woman and their families – THANK YOU!

 

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How our program works:

Training and education program

Passerelles numériques Vietnam currently collaborates with Danang Vocational Training Collecge on curriculum design and training delivery. At graduation, students receive a college degree, recognized by the Vietnamese Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, as well as a certificate diploma from Passerelles numériques.

Our holistic program aims to endow students with the hard and soft skills necessary to become future IT experts. This coupled with a college degree ensures they are able to obtain stable, qualified, and well-respected jobs, bringing them another step closer to ending the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families.

A solid technical and practical 3-year training in Software Development & Testing

We train our students to be well-rounded, developing all the skills they need to become experts at the best IT companies. To this end, PN strongly supports learning by doing, which is why all of our IT topics include at least 50% lab-practice time.

Our program includes:

  • Focus on Java development using up-to-date platforms for both web & mobile, as well as PHP development via practice and project implementation.
  • Learning based on practice and projects throughout, to better build fundamental technical skills.
  • Specialization Module: selected by each student in the third year of the program. These modules are taught directly by IT companies’ experts in their fields to help bridge the gap between our program and companies’ needs. Current specializations offered are: Automation Testing, Web Design, and Mobile Programming.

A general training in professional skills

Passerelles numériques Vietnam also provides additional curriculum to enhance graduates’ employability. Designed to match local company needs, it focuses on IT practice via practical projects, English language, professional and soft skills (logical thinking, autonomy, initiative, etc.).

The full curricula include:

  • 50% IT theory & practice
  • 25% English
  • 25% Soft skills
  • Two internships

English occupies a central place in PN training approach. With the target of TOEIC 500+, PNV is aiming for students to be able to listen and read with ease. An intense focus is made on communicative English with classes stressing on pronunciation and speaking throughout the whole curriculum. English is considered as an essential tool: PNV trains students to have adequate IT vocabulary and the confidence to use it in front of any foreigners.

Soft Skills are a life-long learning to help students work effectively in companies while using organizational tools (Google-suite, Coggle, Trello) with ease. Four modules – Learning to Learn, Job Application, Professionalism and Thinking & Mindset – are built to make sure the students can maximize their employability after graduation.

Students have the opportunity to put into practice their skills during two internship periods:

  • Second year: 2 months to identify a working environment
  • Third year: 5 months to put into practice their IT skills and soft skills, as well as join real projects as a first step to the professional world.

Social and educational development

To prepare these young people to become mature and independent adults, we developed a personal development curriculum which revolves around PN’s values: Trust, Responsibility, Solidarity, Respect, and a Demanding approach.

As part of this program, students live together in dormitories, located near PN Vietnam, where they learn how to become autonomous and responsible adults. They are in charge of managing a budget with which they buy food, pay for the water and electricity bills, organize cleaning and cooking shifts, solve group issues and take care of each other.

In order for our students to focus on their intense studies, PNV covers their needs and expenses including:

  • Training expenses: University tuition fees, extra classes, technical equipment, etc.
  • Living expenses: accommodation in dormitories, furniture and equipment, food, transportation (students receive a bicycle and a helmet each), medical care and health insurance, etc
Thank you
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PNV students preparing for Graduation ceremony
PNV students preparing for Graduation ceremony

Passerelles numeriques (PN) provides vocational training in the IT field blended with soft skills training to underprivileged students from Southeast Asia. We ensure that our students are composed of at least 50% girls to promote gender equality.

PN’s programs are gender-sensitive by design, addressing the problem in two ways:

  • Embedding gender equity in every component of our TVET program: student selection, soft and hard skills training, career orientation, and job placement
  • Forging collaborations with local networks of partners to further promote and support gender equity (educational institutions, corporations, alumni) ensuring systemic change takes place.

 

STATISTICS OF WOMEN IN PN’S PROGRAM 

(As of October 2021)

Currently 203 girls out of 374 students (54%) are enrolled in our programs. 

  • Philippines: 83 girls out of the 143 students
  • Vietnam: 45 girls out of the 131 students
  • Cambodia: 77 girls out of 147 students

In 2021, 117 girls (59%) are expected to graduate and enter the labour market.

  • Philippines: 93 girls from Class 2020A, Class 2020B and Class 2021 are expected to finish the 2.5 year training by December 2021
  • Vietnam: 24 girls from Class 2021 are expected to graduate in October 2021
  • Cambodia: 39 girls of class 2021 are expected to graduate in May 2022 (no expected graduation in 2021 due to some delays caused by pandemic) 



STATUS UPDATES OF PN STUDENTS IN EVERY CENTER

(Composed of at least 50% women)

 

Passerelles numériques Philippines (PNP)

At PNP, 31 covid-positive cases have been reported among our students in August. To date, there are no more active cases. Cebu City has been under GCQ (General Community Quarantine) since September.

Regarding the training of the students:

  • Class 2021: the students are completing their internships and their Capstone project until December 2021.
  • Class 2022: the students are completing their specialization course.
  • Class 2023: integration of class 2023 (70 signed contracts, 25 male, 45 female). After following a pre training from June 21 to August 13, the students enrolled at USC, and they started class on August 23.
  • Class 2024: the selection process for the next batch is at its first stage.

 

Passerelles numériques Vietnam (PNV)

Da Nang is locked down in different levels (red: high risk, orange: medium risk, green: low risk). Students have been studying remotely and 30% of staff is allowed to go to the office as long as they are not in red area.

Regarding the training of the students:

  • Class 2021: The students presented their graduation project online on June 11. The ceremony will take place on November 6.
  • Class 2022: The students are finishing their 2months online internship.
  • Class 2023: The students started semester 3.
  • Class 2024: The selection process for the nextbatch is ongoing. After the written test and motivation interview steps, the selection trips for social investigation have been postponed due to the covid situation.

Additionally, in March 2021, PNV conducted an online survey to measure our 10-year social impact (2010-2020) on disadvantaged female graduates and their families. There were 153/200 female graduates participating in the survey and the final result reported that:

  • 93% of survey respondents have a stable job in which 73% are working in the IT sector. Their average salary is USD631 per month which is almost twice as high as the regional minimum salary, allowing them to escape poverty in a sustainable way. 
  • 86% of female graduates from PNV  give an average of over 34% of their salaries back to their families, often enabling their siblings to continue education and support the community in times of the pandemic.
  • Almost 90% of female graduates acknowledge that the PNV project gave them an access to quality education and enabled them to obtain stable income jobs that they could not have achieved without PNV.
  • More than 70% of them have been giving back to PNV in various ways, such as: skills sharing, recruiting assistance, beneficiaries’ selection support and direct financial contributions.

 

Passerelles numériques Cambodia (PNC)

In September, several were tested positive for covid. The PNC center is used as a quarantine area for the closed contacts to these students. The local authority decided to close downthe center for a period of 21days.

Regarding the training of the students:

  • Class 2020: had their final state exam in July. All 66 students passed their exam.
  • Class 2021: began the third module in March. It will end in December and internship will start in January 2022.
  • Class 2022: started their 2nd year. They completed module 1 at the end of August. They selected their specialization and started module 2.
  • Class 2023: The selection process for class 2023 is ongoing. After receiving 1526 applications, motivation interviews have been conducted online since the 4th week of July. Entrance exam and social investigation are still pending (depending on COVID situation and Ministry of Education decision to reopen high schools).

Moreover, last October 20, PNC organized a workshop on ''The roles of women in the digital economy'' for all PNC students with a guest speaker, Natalja Rodionova from Sistersofcode. 

 

Below is a testimony from a student at PNV:

I am Nguyen, currently a 2nd-year student at PNV – Passerelles numériques Vietnam.

As a Bru, an ethnic minority, I was born and raised in a mountainous village in Dakrong, Quang Tri, where the stories of students dropping out are no longer unexpected. Facing their families’ financial suffering, students relinquish their unfinished textbook pages to take up work, in hopes of alleviating the weight that expenses place on their families. Some girls choose to marry, abandoning higher education without knowing that it is a vicious cycle of inescapable hardship. I thought I was set to live a similar life. All three of my siblings are going to school, and both education and daily expenses were too stressful for my parents. Both of my parents are farmers. Their diligent labor could only get us by day to day, so higher education was out of my league.

I planned to move to Da Nang or Ho Chi Minh City after my high school graduation, to look for work or marriage, so that I could be responsible for my own life and relieve my parents’ financial worries. PNV, however, was there at my high school to recruit when I was in 12th grade. When I heard that 100% of the tuition and living expenses would be cared for upon admission, I was thrilled.

When I first entered PNV, even the foundation lessons could stress me out. My studying was challenging because my IT knowledge was at 0. Every test, no matter how insignificant, could worry me. At my worst, when we had our first project in making a game on web scratch, I felt like I reached my abyss, of fear, of self-doubt. All my determination and faith were drained. The thought of giving up even crossed my mind. Fortunately, the words of encouragement and the support from my friends at PN put me back on my feet, and I am forever grateful for that. They make me believe that if other people can do it, there is no reason that I cannot. I wanted to dash forward believing that I could. I wanted to conquer the prejudice that girls could not study IT, that females could not study as well as males.

After a year at PNV, though I was not the best, though I was not all-knowing, I have cultivated confidence, the kind of absolute belief in myself. I now feel comfortable about computers instead of feeling out of place like back in my first days. I can now type faster and finish basic Python and Java exercises. A significant leap in my studying is my English ability. From a student that could only manage “Hello, how are you?”, I can now converse with others in English and comprehend the language. Now, I can set clear goals for myself. Compared to my past self, whose concerns revolve around working a minimum wage job then marrying, my current self strives to graduate from PNV to secure a stable job. This is not only for myself but also for paying for my siblings’ higher education and for alleviating the stress on my parents.

To me, PNV has been a wonderful opportunity that I am glad I did not miss. PNV has also been a turning point in my life, where I grew from timid to confident, from clueless to finding my path forward.

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Our digital economy is facing two major challenges nowadays: tech talent shortage and gender imbalance in the digital  industry. Despite the surfeit of jobs that require digital skills, women remain underrepresented in STEM roles, the lifeblood of the digital economy. According to recent studies, women only account for 25% of the STEM workforce,  (WEF - The reskilling revolution, 2020). 

 

One of the SDGs that PN promotes is the SDG 5: to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls. As we provide vocational training in the IT field blended with soft skills training to underprivileged students from Southeast Asia, we ensure that our students are composed of at least 50% girls. PN is aware that tackling the issue of gender inequality in the digital sector requires a multi-dimensional approach. Barriers at different stages of women’s path to employability: unequal access to education, gender stereotypes and social norms, discriminatory practices in the workplace exist and we aim to address it. 

 

Hence, PN’s programs are gender-sensitive by design, addressing the problem in two ways:

  • Embedding gender equity in every component of our TVET program: student selection, soft and hard skills training, career orientation, and job placement
  • Forging collaborations with local networks of partners to further promote and support gender equity (educational institutions, corporations, alumni) ensuring systemic change takes place.

 

Currently 232 girls out of 423 students (%) are enrolled in our programs. 

  • Philippines: 83 girls out of the 144 students
  • Vietnam: 71 girls out of the 131 students
  • Cambodia: 78 girls out of 148 students

 

In 2021, 117 girls (59%) are expected to graduate and enter the labour market.

  • Philippines: 93 girls from Class 2020A, Class 2020B and Class 2021 are expected to finish the 2.5 year training by December 2021
  • Vietnam: 24 girls from Class 2021 are expected to graduate in October 2021
  • Cambodia: 39 girls of class 2021 are expected to graduate in May 2022 (no expected graduation in 2021 due to some delays caused by pandemic)

 

Despite facing many challenges, adjustments and delays caused by the pandemic, our centers have managed to continue their operations. Because of covid-19 still affecting our traditional implementation strategy, our training approach has been switched to online /remote training since last year, adapting our pedagogical tools, infrastructures and approach to online setting as well. Presently, more than a year after the onset of the pandemic, our centers and support offices are still fully operational. Our staff have adapted to the set-up of partly working from home and partly reporting to the office, depending on the situation in each country. Our students as well have continued their studies through online set-up. 

 

PN is committed and determined to continue with our mission of ending the cycle of poverty through provision of IT education to our students, composed of 50% women,  regardless of the difficulties we are facing now and we will face in the future. Our mission is realised through the support of our various external partners -- organisations, corporations, alumni, and individual donors. Through continued collaborations, underserved women are given equal chances to thrive in the digital-related industry.

 

Below is a testimony from :

Quency, Class 2021,  PN Philippines

“My name is Quency from class 2021, originally from Calbayog City, Samar. I am extremely grateful to PN for being one of their scholars. 

I believe that ambition is the path to success. My primary ambition is to get a decent job that will secure my future and provide me and my family with financial support. I also want to be a successful entrepreneur because I want the opportunity to run a business I am passionate about. PN has given me access to an amazing education that provides great opportunities for learning and growth which I believe will help in achieving my ambitions.  The scholarship offered by PN has opened a door and the prospect of a brighter future and plays a key role in shaping me into a successful person in the future. Their generous support will see me achieve my dreams”.

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Project Leader:
Karyn Mikkelsen-Tillet
PARIS, France
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