New school in Minglanilla uses American, Singaporean curricula-A A +A
Monday, February 11, 2013
A BALIKBAYAN partnered with a Cebuano entrepreneur to open a school that uses parts of the American and Singaporean curricula.
Dave Victor L. Bañares and his wife worked as educators in the United States for six years, then came home in November 2011 and collaborated with a friend, Surebright Manufacturer Industries Inc. president Eric Pacubas, for a venture that merges Western and Filipino educational cultures.
The Campbell Academy Foundation Inc. (CAFI) was established on April 16, 2012 with an upscale facility, US-trained teachers and an American-Singaporean curriculum.
CAFI president Pacubas said that prior the partnership, he had formulated a plan to venture into the academe but put it on hold until the Bañareses expressed their interest.
With international job opportunities coming to the Philippines, CAFI vice president Bañares believes that CAFI’s attributes will cater to the needs of an evolving generation of learners.
“Every school always pushes for quality education and education should evolve through time. To cope with the changes, the academe must not stay traditional,” he said.
As a platform for a globally accredited education, most of CAFI’s subject materials like reading, science and writing are imported from the US, while the Singaporean method is used for math.
The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2011 and 2012 stated that the strong Singaporean educational system, which ranked fourth globally, contributes to the country’s rise as the second most competitive economy in the world, next to Switzerland.
“With the math and science combo being the thing in the future, CAFI is rooted in a mission to excel in both fields by adopting Singaporean math,” Bañares said, partly quoting Pacubas.
CAFI started with 16 students in one classroom housed in a commercial arcade in Minganilla, Cebu. On Nov. 16, it moved to its current location in Lower Calajo-an, still in Minglanilla.
According to Bañares, it took a P12-million investment to prepare the place.
The 2,000-square-meter school currently accommodates toddler, nursery, kindergarten 1 and 2 (K1 and K2), and expects a first batch of graduates in March. First and second grade will be offered this June.
Its license allows it to operate all grade levels and high school.
Bañares explained the levels are limited because they function based on the availability of teachers and also want to focus on building a positive foundation.
The CAFI administration includes a principal; Bañares and his wife work as teachers, and the school is hiring additional instructors.
Bañares said approximately 40 percent of their K2 attendees are transferees.
Majority of the pupils at present are of mixed parentage, including American, Vietnamese and Chinese.
Tuition for school year 2013 to 2014 ranges from P25,650 to P47,625, inclusive of books, training and facilities.
Bañares said that CAFI also provides opportunities to small groups in the community through its feeding and scholarship programs affiliated with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
A child who scores 95 percent in the assessment and belongs to a family with income of less than P8,000 qualifies for CAFI’s scholarship, which is open to all.
Scholars are targeted based on sponsors worldwide. CAFI has three scholars out of 15 students so far.
CAFI also will conduct a free summer school program this April and May, which includes yoga for kids, arts, crafts and cooking lessons.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 12, 2013.