The ongoing global pandemic prompted the education sector to adapt almost overnight to various learning challenges. Even as the country resumes face-to-face classes, enrollment numbers show a continuous decline. PHINMA Education, a fast-growing network of schools in Southeast Asia, partnered with Bukas, an education financing platform, to intensify flexible options for students to pursue their studies through tuition installment plans available to both Flex Learning and Remote and Distance (RaD) Learning students.
Flexibility in Financing Access to Education
Diane Perez, a BS Nursing student from PHINMA University of Pangasinan, shares how Bukas has helped in her studies. “Hindi madali mag bayad ng tuition lalo na tatlo kaming nag-aaral. Buti na lang po may Bukas na handang tumulong sa aming mga nangangailangan.” (“It’s not easy to pay tuition, especially since there are three of us studying in my family. Thankfully Bukas was ready to help those of us in need.”)
Bukas’ tuition installment plan allows students to pay for their tuition in monthly installments for 12 months (or less) instead of making a one-time lump sum payment. A Bukas tuition plan is also a safe and secure alternative for parents and students instead of turning to informal lenders with high interest rates.
“We are strongly committed to providing students access to quality education and pave a path towards a brighter future. By providing education-focused financial products, we hope to reduce the number of out-of-school youth, and build a more secure future for the next generation,” said Jon Robert Emlano, Country Manager of Bukas.
Flexibility in Learning
As the world adjusts to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, there are pandemic innovations that can continue to serve young people whose circumstances are less than ideal. Beyond financial difficulties, underserved youth also contend with living far away from campuses or working during the day to finance their education. To respond to this, PHINMA Education intensified its drive towards RaD Learning.
“Our two models, Flex and RaD Learning, both relied on printed activity sheets combined with strong teacher and peer support through a mobile data allocation that renewed every month,” explained Francis L. Larios, Chief Learning Officer of PHINMA Education. “FlexLearning students will have in-person classes once regulations allow, while RaDLearning students will continue to be home-based.”
RaDLearning’s advantage, Larios elaborated, is that students can learn wherever they are. Learning is facilitated through printed modules, and with this, they are not required to own a computer to study. They are also given mobile data allocation to communicate with their professors for remote teaching support.
Requirements for two (or three) subjects can also be completed within a month. “This flexibility is good news for out-of-school youth who wish to go back to school, working students and single parents, and those who cannot afford to rent, commute, or study online,” said Larios.
Inclusive, Accessible Education For All
According to the World Bank, only 36% of college-aged Filipinos are in college. Without a degree, underserved youth will not be able to achieve gainful employment and contribute to the country’s development. PHINMA Education’s partnership with Bukas is a concrete move to make education more inclusive and accessible for Filipino students.
“By embracing a student-responsive learning approach and championing affordable, quality education, we aim to change these statistics for the better. We believe that incorporating flexibility in how we serve our students will allow us to make a greater impact not just for our students but also for their families, communities, and ultimately our country,” Larios concluded.