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Ayala Corp. is now in the business of education: High school at P64 a day 


(Updated 5:30 p.m.) Ayala Corp. has embarked on a new business venture, boasting that families would spend a mere P64 a day to send a teenager off to high school. 
 
Affordable Private Education Center Inc. (APEC) is offering an all-in annual cost of P23,000 that includes books, computers and fees, Alfredo I. Ayala, LiveIt Global Services Management Institute Inc. (LGSMI) president, said Thursday during the launch of the new education arm of the Ayala Group.
 
This is about P64 per day, he said.
 
Offering affordable education will be done by "by leveraging economies of scale and a much focused no- frills approach pioneered in other countries by Pearson," Ayala said.
 
Long-term view to profitability
 
"Ayala Corp. has a long term perspective [for APEC] and we're really looking at economies of scale that we know we will be able to achieve," he said.
 
"With the knowledge, we can realize the right level of profitability," he added.
 
With low tuition fees, teachers will receive low compensation but still within standards, APEC Human Resources director Pam Wu said during the briefing.
 
"We're not paying very high, because we ensure that we will be able to balance our cost and revenue," she said.
 
"What's important is we have no problem with teachers because what we have been recruiting for is the passion to actually teach and that's what's critical," Wu added.

Career path for teachers
 
In an interview with GMA News Online, Wu said they are offering a compensation package between P12,000 to P18,000 – equivalent to prevailing salaries in other schools.
 
This is lower than what public school educators currently receive a minimum salary of P18,549 under the third phase of the Salary Standardization Law.
 
Even then, Magdalo party-list Representatives Francisco Ashley Acedillo and Gary Alejano have proposed House Bill 4081, increasing the minimum salary of public elementary and secondary school teachers from an average of P18,500 to at least P36,000.
 
Despite the low compensation being offered to teachers, Wu said many have been applying with APEC – from fresh graduates to career shifters.
 
In order to attract teachers, Ayala said part of the proposition is offering a career path with plans to expand in the next few years.
 
"They will have an opportunity to graduate to higher levels of responsibilities which will also come with higher compensation," he said.

General public education
 
This year, APEC is putting up 11 schools in the Metro Manila cities of Caloocan, Manila, Marikina, Pasig and Quezon.
 
APEC opened the first branch in Emilio Aguinaldo College in Manila last July 2013.
 
APEC director of Teaching Corazon Monica B. Sabio was with the Philippine Science High School for 23 years before joining APEC last year.
 
What made her transfer to APEC, despite a lower compensation, is her passion for teaching.
 
She noted the Philippine Science High School is a "very selective school and would only cater to the gifted.
 
"I heard about this one and I know it gives a lot of new things, a new and different kind of model for teaching," Sabio said.
 
"What attracted me is the impact I can make on the education of the general public," she added.
 
On January 29, London-based Pearson Ltd. announced having partnered with Ayala Corp. to start a chain of low-cost secondary schools in the country.
 
 
With Pearson, Ayala Corp. is spending $4 million to build at least 12 schools mainly catering to the services sector, Ayala said on the sidelines of the Ayala Corp. annual stockholders' meeting last April 11. – VS, GMA News
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