Christopher Tan, Chief Operations Officer of PHINMA Education

PHINMA Education, a fast-growing network of schools in Southeast Asia, believes that access to quality education can make lives better for millions of underserved youth. Witnessing that many students are unable to complete their college degrees, the institution aims to make education accessible particularly in some key growth areas across the Philippines.

However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, their unbreakable commitment to delivering quality education towards gainful employment for their students and graduates was severely challenged.

“It was a very disruptive year for the educational sector. The pandemic made it very difficult for all types of schools, whether public or private to fulfill their mission of educating their students,” said Christopher A. Tan, Chief Operating Officer of PHINMA Education.

The institution, which operates nine tertiary schools in the country, recognized that flexible learning would be the way forward for students and teachers. While online education became common for most educational institutions in the country, PHINMA Education’s unique market needed a different solution.

“We serve students from lower-income households and many of them are not prepared well in their grade school and high school for college. They are more likely to drop out even under normal circumstances and the big problem with distance learning is not so much the quality of education, but it’s the ability to complete the program,” explained Tan.

The challenge for the institution is to generate creative and innovative approaches to manage these problems differently.  They also need to make sure that the distance learning setup would be suited even for students from low-income families. Thus, they launched Flex and RaDLearning, which rely on printed courseware, strong teacher support, and constant interaction with peers. This made the infrastructure that would enable them to connect with their students and faculty the utmost importance.

They partnered with PLDT Enterprise and Smart for connectivity solutions that effectively support the digital learning needs of their students and faculty members. Smart provided tailor-made Giga Study plans that further boost PHINMA Education’s pledge to ease the learning experience of students in the new normal.

“Combining printed modules with remote coaching and the data plan from Smart helped us come up with an almost robust workable solution we can develop for these very difficult times. We appreciate PLDT Enterprise for understanding the underlying principles that we cared about and for coming up with a very flexible plan that gave access to our key programs,” said Tan.

“Giga Study Plan has the key features of stability, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. PLDT Enterprise was very generous in developing a program that gave enough bandwidth and access to our students, at the same time, really kept the costs low,” he added.

“PLDT Enterprise heeds the call of the education sector for solutions that will enable students and educators to easily steer distance learning. We are committed to supporting the needs of our partners, such as the PHINMA Education, to empower them in maintaining their unbreakable commitment despite these most difficult times,” said Jojo Gendrano, FVP and Head for PLDT and Smart Enterprise.

PLDT Enterprise recently introduced its Unbreakable Commitment campaign to highlight its partnerships with various organizations in the country to demonstrate how fostering partnerships could help companies thrive despite the obstacles they face and in turn, contribute to the lives of Filipinos.

The campaign also reinforces PLDT Enterprise’s unbreakable commitment to empowering organizations through the power of technology.

“Smart Giga Study Plans helped us promise our students that for this year, they do not have to worry about connecting to their teachers and classmates. That’s a very important message especially in times of uncertainty and suffering. We promised our students that they are not going to be alone in going through their classes this year, and PLDT Enterprise helped fulfill that promise,” Tan furthered.

“But one of the important values we see in this partnership is not just the technology but the strategic thinking that we can do together to solve complex social problems.”

Through fostering partnerships that would help them navigate uncertainties, PHINMA Education Network was able to stay true to its unbreakable commitment to providing access to education to students despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the help of the right partner who successfully attends to the needs of its stakeholders, the institution can carry on its mission to educate and guide its learners no matter how unique and tough the journey will be ahead of the next normal.

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