• SM Group to focus on developing tertiary-level teachers

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    The SM Group plans to focus on developing tertiary-level teachers in line with expanding its course offerings in the next five years, a company official said.

    SM Prime Holdings Inc. Executive Committee head Hans T. Sy told reporters that a key obstacle in the education sector is the lack of teachers.

    “One of the biggest difficulties that I am facing right now is the people—the human resources. There’s very limited faculty,” said Sy, who is also the chairman of the National University (NU). The SM Group acquired a 60 percent stake in the school in 2008.

    Sy earlier said the plan is to expand the university by setting up schools in SM malls. But there are certain challenges one of which is the lack of faculty.

    “As we are doing some of these studies, there are certain obstacles that we have to go through—many obstacles because it’s a regulated industry. But as what I usually do in SM, nothing is going to stop us. We will always find solutions,” he said.

    “As a matter of fact, in the next five years, we’ll be focused on how to develop more faculty members,” he added, noting such direction is only a part of solution.

    Regulatory obstacles requiring masteral degrees are also contributing to the lack of teachers in college and university levels.

    “I’m not objecting, but I felt there are things we need to organize first. As I’ve said I would establish a school focused on education, to be able to develop more faculty members,” Sy said.

    He described the educator as a “rare profession” as not many people are taking up education-related courses in college these days.

    “On the other hand, once they take that course, they go abroad. So, we have a little problem there here in the Philippines. But we’ll overcome,” Sy said.

    Apart from NU, the Sy family also owns Asia Pacific College, a tertiary-level school for information technology.
    Asked if there are plans to consolidate the family-owned schools under one brand, Sy was optimistic about the idea. “Eventually, yes. That’s what we would like to do.”

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