Kristine, a sixth-grade student at Katidtuan Elementary School in Mindanao, Philippines, knew she wanted to be a nurse, but was not learning enough in school to realize her ambition. When her school was chosen to participate in text2teach, a new program that offered educational videos in the classroom as well as teacher training, she began to be excited about science for the first time. After watching a text2teach video on biology, Kristine began to ask questions and wanted to know more. “Knowing how things work, especially in science, makes me understand how the world works, and I know it will equip me with the things I need to learn in the future.”

Kristine’s 6th grade teacher was hoping for just this kind of excitement about learning from her students when the program was first introduced in the Philippines by the Education and Livelihood Skills Alliance (ELSA). Established in 2004 as an initiative of the International Youth Foundation (IYF), Ayala Foundation, Consuelo Foundation, the Philippines Business for Social Progress and SEAMEO-INNOTECH, and funded through USAID, ELSA has worked in communities throughout Mindanao to provide children and youth with comprehensive education and employability services. As one of ELSA’s many educational and employment programs aimed at underserved Filipino youth, text2teach has benefited more than 105,000 math and science students in 135 schools through the innovative use of technology that enables teachers to use their cell phones to download educational videos into the classroom. 

Studies have shown not only demonstrable increase in students’ interest and achievement in these classes as a result of the program, but also higher proficiency levels for ELSA/text2teach teachers compared to their peers who are not engaged in the program.   

For Kristine, the program has opened up a new world. “When I go home after the lesson,” she explains, “I would tell my brother about the animals and how they live. It was so fun to watch the TV, because it’s not only pictures, it’s moving!” Kristine’s increased attention to her classroom studies resulted in her grades jumping from 85% to 91%. This future nurse is now at the top of her class.