Monday, 21 September 2009

Korean educational firm pours in P100M for ’e-learning’ venture in the Philippines


A SOUTH KOREAN educational services firm has invested an initial P100 million to put up an online English school and an international high school, and is expecting to hire up to 1,000 workers.

The Ubiquitous English Network of Avalon International or U-ENAI, Inc., the Philippine unit of Avalon English+, has obtained perks from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority as an information technology-based "e-learning" education company.

In a statement, Avalon English+ said it expects to exceed its initial investment when it completes by the end of 2010 an international high school in the country with a projected capital of $3.5 million or roughly P170 million.

The firm said it would put up other business ventures such as an international education program covering the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, as well as English camps.

Avalon English+ said its investment was in "response to continuous efforts of the Philippine government in encouraging foreign investments and providing new job opportunities to its highly competent knowledge-based Filipino work force."

U-ENAI pointed to the country’s "highly competent English teachers and technically skilled work force, favorable economic environment, and business-friendly government policies."

"This will help us aggressively pursue our vision of becoming the leading company in providing home school education to native English speakers as well as English as a Second Language to non-native English speakers through breakthrough e-Learning programs using state-of-the-art systems to every household and learning institution around the world," said Richard Hong, chief executive officer.

Avalon English+ said it serves more than 50,000 students mostly in South Korea, but estimates its potential market to be "at least one million students worldwide."

U-ENAI will offer teacher-led, group and one-on-one "interactive cyber classrooms," with information technology solutions allowing students to get an unlimited number of sessions for the same monthly fee.

U-ENAI said it would hire up to 750 more employees in its Mandaluyong office to increase its work force to 1,000 early next year.

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