Ayala opens chain of ‘affordable’ high schools
MANILA, Philippines — Ayala Corp. and the UK-based Pearson, the world’s largest education provider, announced on Wednesday the rollout of the first 12 private high schools in Metro Manila under the new brand Affordable Private Education Center (APEC) Inc. starting this coming school year.
Ayala and Pearson are investing $7.5 million to build the first 50 schools under APEC, whose proposition is to offer “world-class” private high school education at an affordable cost. It offers no-frills education but with a curriculum that allows a high school graduate to immediately gain professional employment.
For School Year 2014-2015, APEC will open its doors to incoming Grade 7 students for a total all-in annual cost of P23,000 – inclusive of use of books and computers. The fees include a one-time admission fee of P4,000 and 10 monthly installments of P1,900.
As a promotion, the first 70 enrollees at each school will be given a 20 percent discount, which will bring the monthly installment down to P1,490, or approximately P50 per day.
Ayala president Fernando Zobel de Ayala said: “The global demand for Filipino talent is proof that one of the Philippines’ greatest resources is its people. Ayala believes that investment in education is key to securing national competitiveness, and every Filipino’s future. Our vision is to provide affordable, world-quality education that can allow every student to achieve his or her full potential.”
During the launch of APEC on Wednesday, Zobel de Ayala said that by entering the education business, the Ayala group was doing its share in nation-building. “Rather than complaining, why not get involved?” he said.
To pilot test this venture into the education business, APEC took in last year an initial batch of about a hundred students who were given a curriculum tailor-fit to what potential employers need. This was in partnership with Emilio Aguinaldo College. At the end of the pilot program, students learned new skills such as processing bank loans or selling Android phones or leading a small IT team.
APEC chairman Alfredo Ayala said: “APEC’s aim is to transform and positively impact thousands of Filipino lives, by providing students the knowledge, skills, and values that are crucial in finding gainful professional employment.”
“We want to give Filipinos more choice in the most important decision they have to make – investing in a child’s education, by offering quality education at an affordable price,” he added.
The next 11 APEC schools will be opened in five cities in Metro Manila — Caloocan, Manila, Marikina, Pasig, and Quezon City — in time for the incoming school year. About 1,000 enrollees are expected for this initial rollout.
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