THOUSANDS of students from low-income families will now have the opportunity to take up senior high school education in private schools for free.
The Ayala-led APEC [Affordable Private Education Center] Schools announced on Wednesday that it is offering 3,500 seats for free to public school Grade 10 students entering senior high school (Grades 11 and 12).
Starting in July this year, APEC schools will be offering its Grade 11 afternoon shift to public school Grade 10 graduates in Metro Manila that costs P22,500, which is inclusive of tuition, all fees (including the energy fee for air-conditioning) and books.
This is equivalent to the senior high school voucher that the Department of Education is providing to all public school graduates in Metro Manila, which means that public school graduates who enroll at APEC Schools can attend it with no out-of-pocket expenses.
“We are offering 3,500 senior high school seats for public high school graduates with zero cost from the family,” Fred Ayala, chief executive officer of Ayala Education, told reporters at a news briefing in Pasig City (Metro Manila).
“We fully support DepEd’s K-to-12 [Kindergarten to Grade 12] program. We’ve been piloting the senior high school program. We believe that senior high school is a game-changer in the country,” Ayala said.
These students, he added, will be taking up the academic track of the senior high school program preparing them for white-collar jobs.
Senior high school will be rolled out starting in June this year.
It allows students to choose among four tracks–Academic, Technical-Vocational-Livelihood, Sports and Arts and Design–which are aimed at helping learners prepare for higher education, employment or entrepreneurship.
APEC Schools will also be offering its Grade 11 morning shift to both public school and private school Grade 10 graduates at an all-in cost of P32,500.
For public school graduates in Metro Manila, this translates to an al- in, out-of-pocket cost of P10,000 or P27 per day after taking into account the senior high school voucher.
For private school graduates who qualify for 80 percent of the senior high school voucher, this also translates to an all-in, out-of-pocket cost of P14,500.
These out-of-pocket costs can be paid on a monthly basis.
“We have designed APEC Schools to provide as many students as possible with the improved learning opportunities they deserve, without compromising quality and affordability. This is in line with our commitment to help address unemployment and enable inclusive growth, by producing globally competitive graduates who are very qualified to either college or the professional workforce,” Ayala said.
According to APEC Schools chief executive officer Beth Lui, this initiative is in line with its effort to make quality private education more accessible to public school graduates.
“It is our goal that as many Filipinos as possible should have access to modem and tech-enabled learning systems. DepEd’s Senior High School vouchers and our innovations enable us to offer our unique program to thousands of deserving students and prepare them for brighter future,” she said.
APEC Schools offers LINC (Learning with Industry Collaboration), a special program for the ABM (Accounting and Business Management) Academic Track, that is fully compliant with the curriculum standards and learning hours prescribed in DepEd’s senior high school program.
This senior high school curriculum, which links the industry and the academe, aims to help bridge the job and skills mismatch problem.
APEC Schools also offers a unique approach to education enhanced by global best practices.
Lessons are streamlined to target building and improving necessary skills to better prepare students for real-world challenges.
This methodology, called Active Learning, prioritizes activities that develop an individual’s multiple capacities including thinking, problem-solving, creativity and innovation, communication, collaboration and problem-solving.
Monette Sabio, head of teaching at APEC Schools, said APEC Schools offers innovative ways to bring concepts out of the confines of books and into the larger world.
“Instead of merely reading ideas out loud, our students are encouraged to apply concepts into practice like converting simple theories into practical solutions beneficial to their environment. As the collaborative element of learning becomes more important in today’s highly connected world, these kids are taught not just to leverage their own capacities, but to harness the strengths of the group of community to which they belong,” Sabio explained.