Throughout our history, Intel has driven bold advancements in technology that have fundamentally changed the way people live and work. We have an unwavering belief in our ability to fuel the innovation economy, not just through our leading edge technology, but through our commitment to giving back to the community. We continuously look for opportunities to apply our extensive expertise and resources to help tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges – from improving education quality to bridging the digital divide for women and girls.
For Intel, 2012 was a year marked with many milestones and accomplishments across Asia Pacific. We were proud to see significant progress in all our focus areas, having forged strong relationships with change-makers at all levels of society. We’ve centered our efforts around five core pillars: education transformation, digital literacy, women and girls, innovation, and the community. We have seen these efforts manifest themselves through tangible positive impacts on people and communities around the region.
Intel was recognized for its commitments toward education, the environment and the community at the 14th Annual Award for Corporate Excellence by the US Department of State. At the heart of this achievement are the first-hand efforts of our employees across Asia Pacific. To date, 44% Intel employees in the region have contributed more than 105,000 volunteer hours to activities in their local communities.
We believe that quality education is the key to ensuring that people in the Asia Pacific region are equipped with the 21st century skills that will help them prosper in the growing knowledge economy. A modern education system that focuses on preparing students with critical thinking, collaboration and digital literacy skills should be a common goal across the region. This year, we facilitated high level conversations at the Asian Ministerial Forum on ICT in Education, the Global Symposium on ICT in Education and other education transformation workshops.
In past twelve years, we have provided professional development to more than 2.6m teachers across 13 APAC countries through the Intel Teach Program. By giving teachers the skills necessary to integrate technology and active ‘real life’ learning into their classrooms, they can provide students with access to practical, quality education that develops their skills in critical thinking and collaboration.
From local schools to universities, Intel and its partners have been reinforcing the importance of strong foundations in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). We have facilitated cross-regional collaboration to improve the STEM curricula in K-12 education across Asia Pacific. In addition, we support and promote active learning for students through participation in both local and global science fairs, such as the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Through these efforts, we have helped nurture a new generation of young innovators, fueling their passion to further pursue technical degrees in tertiary education.
At the higher education level, we have seen the Intel India Embedded Challenge emerge as a successful platform for promoting research and innovation among engineering students. The competition has received growing participation from young talents in India who are eager to bring their ideas to life by leveraging Intel’s support through finishing schools and mentorships. In Vietnam, we were able to expand the Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program with a Memorandum of Understanding with Arizona State University and the Vietnam Ministry of Education and Training.
Enabling digital literacy is an important element of the education reforms in the region. This year, we took part in India’s National Digital Literacy Mission, to support the Indian government’s vision to increase the digital literacy levels of households by 2020. More than one million people were trained under the Intel Easy Steps digital literacy program this year, particularly adult learners in underserved areas. In the Philippines, we witnessed the first graduates emerge from the TESDA program, which is a government-run vocational education institution using Intel Easy Steps to help adults learn basic computer literacy skills as a part of their vocational training. We have also developed new methods of offering our Easy Steps content by pioneering a Facebook application in the Philippines and launching a television program on the national VTC channel in Vietnam.
This year we also amplified the volume of our support for women’s empowerment by launching the She Will campaign, which recognizes the accomplishments of women and girls from countries in Asia Pacific, telling inspiring stories of how education provided women and girls with the means to create change for themselves and those around them. In the latter half of this year, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Plan International in Thailand to roll out the Intel Easy Steps program to rural women and girls in the country.
Our commitment to the prosperity and well-being of the region has impacted every aspect of our people and how we do business. This year has been a true demonstration of our intention to care for our people, contribute to making humanity more sustainable and inspire the next generation. We will continue to drive this momentum through to 2013 and beyond.