PHINMA Education Commits to Serving 120K+ Students
Network reaffirms learning and retention strategies for underserved market
PHINMA Education, the education subsidiary of Filipino-owned conglomerate PHINMA, reaffirmed its learning and retention strategies for more than 120 thousand enrollees in SY 22-23. Chief Learning Officer Francis L. Larios said that despite the challenges faced by educators in the past two years, retention across their ten schools has remained constant. He credits this to strategies tailored to the underserved market.
Serving the Underserved Youth
During the pandemic, shared Larios on ANC Market Edge, PHINMA Education built Flex and Remote and Distance (RaD) Learning to cater to the majority of students who come from low-income families. By partnering with Globe and PLDT Smart, PHINMA Education distributed free sim cards with 10GB of mobile data that renewed every month to students across the network. Students received remote coaching from teachers, collaborated with classmates, and accessed learning applications at no additional cost.
To ease the financial burden, PHINMA Education increased the number of Hawak Kamay (HK) Scholarships which reduced tuition fees by as much as 75% based on the student’s capability to pay. Six out of 10 students currently benefit from the program. It also partnered with financing company Bukas to provide mobile phones at affordable terms to students who needed them. In 2021, they launched KANLUNGAN, a free individual therapy program for both students and employees. At the end of SY 21-22, the student retention rate was 88% in the Philippines and 92% in Indonesia.
Going Full Steam Ahead in SY 22-23
In mid-August, PHINMA Education welcomed over 120 thousand students across nine schools in the Philippines and one in Indonesia. More than 61,000 are new students. Flex Learning has moved to a 2-4 system of 2 days in-person classes and 4 days of remote and independent learning. The system, Larios adds, is built to respond to spikes in infection and changes in government regulation.
The network’s strong track record in acquiring and turning around schools yielded strong results in SY 21-22, with a 31% increase in student population and a 79% year-on-year increase in consolidated revenues amounting to P3.79 billion. It continues to improve its facilities to serve an even bigger number of students, with the new San Jose campus of PHINMA Araullo University (PHINMA AU) and plans to build a seven-storey building with a roof deck in PHINMA University of Pangasinan (PHINMA UPang), for example.
Flipping the System beyond Graduation
PHINMA Education boasts a 75% board passing rate for first-time takers across courses such as Nursing, Criminology, Medical Technology, Education, and Engineering. It has also produced 122 board topnotchers and over 26,000 professionals since 2004. But, Larios admits, for many of the network’s students, graduation is not always attainable.
“College is still one of the best ways to improve the lives of students. Except that sometimes, our students might not reach the end and we have to find a way for them to move forward,” he said, adding that they are flipping the system by building not just the usual career pathway at the end of college, but also different career pathways before they graduate. Through this, he said, “PHINMA Education makes lives better through education, whether students complete their degree or not.”
Expanding the Mission Globally
PHINMA Education also spearheads the annual [email protected]: A Global Alliance conference, which brings together education experts and industry stakeholders to discuss how underserved youth can access quality education at prices they can afford. This year’s conference, to be held on October 28, will focus on learning systems for poverty and feature speakers from the fields of education, policy reform, and community development.