Pearson announces school chain joint venture with Ayala Corporation in the Philippines

January 29, 2014

Pearson announces school chain joint venture with Ayala Corporation in the Philippines

Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, is pleased to announce today that the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund (PALF) has agreed to build a new chain of low-cost secondary schools in the Philippines in a joint venture with the Ayala Corporation, one of the Philippines’ leading conglomerates. The joint venture marks the fourth investment made by the PALF and its second investment in the delivery of low-cost private schooling.

Sir Michael Barber, Chief Education Advisor at Pearson and Chairman of PALF, commented:

“We are excited to invest in APEC, PALF’s largest investment to date. Ayala is a company of excellence with a deep commitment to, and experience within, the Philippines.  Ayala believe that education has power to transform lives and build nations. Together Ayala and Pearson are innovating together to build a school chain that will teach thousands of children, creating opportunities for a better future for them, their families and the country.”

Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Ayala's Chairman and CEO, stated:

“Education is an important strategic focus for Ayala. There is strong global demand for Filipino talent and our vision is to deliver high quality, affordable education that can significantly enhance students’ employment potential. We are excited to partner with Pearson, the world’s leading learning company who help educate children in over 70 countries, and the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund, who have pioneered delivering excellent but low cost education to lower income students on a scale basis in other developing countries. The partnership combines Pearson’s deep education expertise with Ayala’s operational experience in the Philippines.”

Ayala Corporation and PALF have created a new entity called Affordable Private Education Centres (APEC), which will manage and scale the secondary school chain.  The joint venture will receive a multi million dollar investment over the next two years. APEC currently operates one pilot school in Metro Manila. It plans to open over a dozen new schools this year. Each school will initially open as Junior High Schools with annual school fees that are affordable for many low-income households.

APEC’s vision is to provide a holistic, quality education which aims to better prepare students for a life of success and fulfillment.  The schools use an advanced curriculum which includes essential academics, professional skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, leadership development and an ethical underpinning of values such as determination, integrity, and compassion.

PALF is a strategic minority investor in the joint venture and is providing critical support on operations, curriculum and pedagogy, and teacher training and development.

The core management team of APEC brings substantial leadership experience. Beth Lui, former Country Managing Director of Accenture in the Philippines, serves as APEC’s CEO.

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For interview and comment email katelyn.donnelly@pearson.com. For more information on the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund visit www.affordablelearningfund.com

Notes for editors

The Pearson Affordable Learning Fund was launched in July 2012 with $15 million dollars of Pearson capital. It’s mandate is to invest in companies that can build quality, scalable education solutions to meet a growing demand for affordable educational services across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Pearson is the world’s leading learning company, providing educational materials and services, and business information through the Financial Times Group. Pearson serves learners of all ages around the globe, employing more than 40,000 people in over 70 countries. For more information, visit www.pearson.com.