PH schools turn to artificial intelligence for campus administration amid pandemic

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 05 2020 04:32 PM

The Edusuite team at their headquarters in Alabang. Handout

MANILA -- A startup grantee of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has been helping schools in the country manage their campuses remotely amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

Established in 2017, Edusuite provides a management system powered by artificial intelligence (AI) so schools can manage student information and grading, scheduling, online enrolment, statement of accounts, faculty load, and clearances, among many others.

It is one of the recipients of the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development's startup grant program.

In a recent virtual media briefing, Edusuite co-founder and president Niel Dagondon shared they have so far helped over 25,000 students across 10 schools in the country this year.

"However, because of the COVID-19 solution, many more schools are in need of our solution," he said. 

Those that have recently signed up for Edusuite are Sacred Heart Academy in Pasig City, University of San Agustin in Iloilo City, and Joji Ilagan Bian Career Foundation Center in Davao City and General Santos City.

These schools join Edusuite's other partners -- Ateneo High School, CIIT College of Arts and Technology, Benedictine International School, International British Academy, King's College of the Philippines, Sumulong College of Arts and Sciences, and Batangas Eastern Colleges.

"The pandemic made us realize our school's need to go digital," said Patricia Mauricio, assistant directress for finance of Sacred Heart Academy of Pasig. 

"It has been an extraordinarily challenging time for us since we never relied on any management system as we were used to a face-to-face approach," she added. 

Dagondon noted that their clients only pay based on the number of students enrolled for the year or semester, and this figure has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

He nevertheless remains optimistic: "Our business is affected by the reduced enrolment in our schools, but we are committed to grow with them so we charge less during hard times. However, we see a silver lining in the current situation with more schools seeking our service after they realize the need to digitalize."

Dagondon went on to state that he sees private educators "leading the charge in adopting technologies to improve education" given the pandemic. 

"While we look forward to going back to what normal used to be like, schools must also transform their systems to respond better to current and future needs," he said.