LISTED schools operator STI Holdings on Wednesday said it has commenced the first phase of construction of a new STI Academic Center in Tanauan, Batangas to boost agricultural education in the country.
STI Holdings teamed up with Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) to construct a 35,114-square-meter (sqm) property at Soledad Park Subdivision. It is designed to accommodate 5,400 incoming senior high school and college students.
Earlier, STI Holdings and JFC founder and chairman Tony Tan Caktiong signed a memorandum of understanding to boost agricultural education in the Philippines through a farm-to-table school that will offer agricultural courses including managing quick-service and gourmet restaurants.
“My experience in JFC has given me unique perspectives on the challenges and importance of having a consistent and reliable supply of high-quality agricultural products. I am excited with this collaboration as it will help to uplift the agricultural and related sectors through education, another potential means for us to contribute to nation-building,” Caktiong said.
Caktiong said it was crucial to devise an up-to-date curriculum and amplify the domain of agriculture in line with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) economic integration where production and trade “will be borderless.”
Anchored on practical, entrepreneurial skills, and the latest technology in agriculture, STI intends to revive the young generation’s interest in agriculture through innovation, farm mechanization, and industry linkages.
The partnership will transform STI College-Tanauan as the initial vehicle for the collaboration with the intent to replicate to other STI campuses around the country.
STI will offer courses in agro-entrepreneurship, agricultural technology, retail, logistics, and quick-service restaurants, among others, aside from programs in information & communications technology, business and management, hospitality services, tourism management, engineering, and arts and sciences.
STI said it will house state-of-the-art agriculture facilities and equipment.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently authorized STI to offer P5 billion worth of fixed-rate bonds within the next three years to finance the expansion of its campuses and for other general corporate requirements. The first tranche worth P3 billion will be offered in seven- and 10-year tenors.
STI is slated to open five new campuses in Lipa, Pasay, Davao, Sta. Mesa, and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan which are expected to be operational by 2018.