28 Mar2010

Folks who have been following this blog for some time would probably be aware that education is a MAJOR concern for Marketman, Mrs. Marketman & Family. One might argue I am even more passionate about education than I am about food. :) At the base of every issue I have probably written about, an important element of “education” or a lack thereof (whether formal, informal or experiential) is probably at the crux of the matter, whether it be an appreciation of a common fruit, indignation over plagiarism, a service situation gone bad, or a classic Filipino recipe. Ultimately, I don’t believe we can progress as a nation unless we consciously strive to educate our children, and hopefully our future leaders, in a more enlightened and intelligent manner. I am thus taking this opportunity to reach the target audience of this blog to get the word out about a SPECTACULAR SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY for the right student(s). Please read on if you know of someone who might be deserving of a partial or FULL ride high school scholarship currently available at The Beacon Academy.

But first, some background to provide the proper context. Over a decade ago, when the Teen was just a toddler, we looked at several elementary schools in Manila and were unable to find one that seemed to fit the bill. To make a VERY long story shorter, we ended up with a group of like-minded young friends/parents, and with a lot of chutzpah and a heavy dose of idealism, set up what is now known as The Beacon School, a private, international, non-denominational, non-profit elementary school (Kinder through Grade 8) located in Taguig, Metro Manila. The vision was to create nothing short of a top quality educational institution, with a strong Filipino/local ethos but with a world-class curriculum. The Beacon School is now in it’s tenth year of operation, and I think it has achieved many of the objectives we had envisioned. But it is relatively young, and we strive to keep making it better. Some of you may bristle that it is simply an elitist school, but I would counter that a good education requires serious resources. The Beacon School’s facilities are comfortable, the teacher to student ratios at roughly 1:8 are amongst the lowest in the country, the faculty have superb credentials and are compensated very well. And most importantly, the kids seem to be thriving and all indications suggest a very nurturing, positive yet rigorous educational experience. It was not an easy challenge for all of the founding trustees to take on. But looking back on the experience, it was certainly one of the most intellectually and emotionally rewarding things Mrs. MM and I have been a part of. The Beacon School now has over 300 students and it nears full capacity with extensive waitlists in the younger grade levels. We never wanted to grow too big, but definitely wanted to be known for the high quality of our education. And the grade school also offers scholarships to deserving students unable to pay the tuition fees, though that is another topic altogether and on a different application schedule. Now that we have graduated several classes of middle schoolers (8th graders) and they have gone onto various high school programs in either local and international schools, the clamor for a Beacon High School has grown louder and louder.

In response to that clamor, and a desire to continue what we had started with the grade school, we set up The Beacon Academy in 2009, a separate four-year high school with a full International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. In July 2010, we shall be moving into our new campus in Binan, Laguna, some 5-10 minutes east of The Brent International School in Mamplasan. Situated on 8+ hectares of rolling land, we shall be inaugurating our first building of roughly 2,000 square meters and an enormous gym. We hope that over the next ten years, we will continue to build up the campus and at its peak it will have the capacity for 500-600 students from 9th to 12th grade. While modeled after several of the finest preparatory schools in the West, we are proud that it is also very much a Filipino endeavor, for Filipino and foreign students with a long term interest in the country. All of this was done with parent funding, and generous gifts/capital from like-minded folks who believe in the vision of a top-quality school providing an education that will prepare our children for the complex challenges ahead. And it is also, like the grade school, a completely non-profit endeavor. It is a daunting undertaking, with lofty goals, but it is a GOOD THING.

The Beacon Academy is currently seeking to award extremely generous scholarship(s) for a deserving student(s) with impressive academic credentials who would otherwise be unable to afford the full tuition and fees of the school. This is a GREAT opportunity and I strongly encourage any of you with children who are of the right age/level to start 9th grade (first year high school) to check out the links below for details about the scholarship(s). Deadline for submission is 31 March 2010, but you can download most of the application forms from the website of the school to speed things along.

Read more about The Beacon Academy here.
Read more about the scholarship(s) on offer here.

Please help spread the word about the school and the scholarship opportunities. Thank you very much.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. chinachix says:

    I think its admirable that Filipino parents have been empowered enough to organize, and provide, alternative educational choices for a new generation of students. The 1-to-8 teacher-student ratio is amazing. This is more the exception even in first-world countries, I think. Is that just for preschool, or through the higher grades as well?

    Mar 28, 2010 | 10:40 pm

     
  2. Eden says:

    WOW, Small student-teacher ratio! How awesome is that. I am a kindergarten teacher in California with 30.1 5-year olds in my class. How admirable for parents to be proactive and provide the best for their children.

    Any teacher or admin openings at Beacon school?

    Mar 28, 2010 | 11:26 pm

     
  3. Tonito says:

    A very good post and a timely one, Mr. Marketman.

    Mar 28, 2010 | 11:58 pm

     
  4. marilen says:

    MM, your heart is always in the right place. God bless you and family.

    Mar 29, 2010 | 1:17 am

     
  5. Marketman says:

    chinachix, almost all of the founding trustees had attended grade school and high school in the Philippines. A few had attended prep schools in the west. Most had gone abroad for college and or graduate school, and all had chosen to return back home. I think it was this common kind of background, and a desire to set up something that was more modern/progressive/relevant that egged us on some 12 years ago. The 1:8 teacher ratio is the average for the school. Class sizes are a maximum of 15 kids to a class from Kinder to Grade 5, with a teacher and assistant teacher in lower grades. For middle school, maximum class size is 20 kids per class, but several teachers handle their day/week. In many local private schools today, the class sizes can be as much as 40-48 kids per class, with one primary teacher in charge of them… Eden, please contact the school or Academy directly for employment opportunities. We find that there are lots of wonderful Filipino teachers who have some of the most up to date training but when they return home, find few places that apply what they have learned. Our faculty at the Beacon School is mostly Filipinos with international training. At the Beacon Academy, we are more likely to have a mixture of local and foreign hires for the faculty. Tonito and Marilen, thanks.

    Mar 29, 2010 | 6:36 am

     
  6. Avic says:

    Hi MM. This is great. I wonder though if transferees are accepted? Do you also offer scholarships to Elementary students? Thanks, MM.

    Mar 29, 2010 | 8:54 am

     
  7. hunter says:

    do the classes start july/september or june (US or Philippine calendar)?

    i searched in the beacon website but can’t find any info. we are moving from the UK to the philippines and i’m looking for options to transfer my kid’s school…

    Mar 29, 2010 | 9:21 am

     
  8. Footloose says:

    Warms my heart to learn that your group actually acted on the change you want to see in educating your children. This can only help develop logic and coherence in their young minds along with the early cultivation of evidence as the only basis for belief.

    Mar 29, 2010 | 9:49 am

     
  9. Marketman says:

    Avic, not sure what you mean by transferees… if you mean coming out of a local school, absolutely they would be considered, as long as they meet the requirements set out for the scholarship. If your child is currently in a local school which only went to 6th grade, then started first year highschool, you might find that a second or third year highschool student would be looking at applying to 9th grade, thereby appearing to “repeat” grades. The Beacon Academy follows a 12 year pre-university or college program, similar to many international schools. But local Filipino schools only range from 10-11 years pre-university so some adjustments may be necessary. hunter, I believe classes for the Academy are starting in August, closer to a U.S. calendar, but not quite.

    Footloose, one day in the future (hopefully when most of the founding trustees of the school are still lucid and coherent) when that first Beacon student does something for the national good, applying logic and rationale and compassion and citizenship, we will smile knowingly. :)

    Mar 29, 2010 | 10:31 am

     
  10. thelma says:

    just curious… where’s beacon academy?

    Mar 29, 2010 | 10:57 am

     
  11. Marketman says:

    thelma, the high school will be in Binan Laguna, 5 minutes from the Paseo de Sta Rosa, and 10 minutes from the Brent International School in Mamplasan. It is roughly 35-40 minutes by bus/car from Makati. Built on a campus that is modeled after spacious and green New England prep school style institutions, 500 kids total will have 8-9 hectares on which to learn and grow during the high school years.

    Mar 29, 2010 | 11:06 am

     
  12. millet says:

    wow! congratulations to everyone at beacon hill. truly a good thing!

    Mar 29, 2010 | 11:07 am

     
  13. Mom-Friday says:

    Congratulations with the new academy! Classroom size does matter as the teachers will be able to closely supervise the students and allow each one to flourish. While school-hunting last year, we did consider Beacon School for our son but it’s quite far and the fees are above our current capacity :D Your scholarship is such great news indeed.

    Mar 29, 2010 | 11:34 am

     
  14. Toping says:

    You, sir, never cease to amaze me. You make me proud to be a Filipino; perhaps prouder to be a fellow Bisaya.

    Mar 29, 2010 | 11:59 am

     
  15. Teresa says:

    Hats off to the founders of the school MM. Yes, there is much to be done for our educational system. It is good to know that what was envisioned 10 years back is still going strong and getting stronger even. I was seeking out a good school for my youngest two years back and decided to enroll my son in a school at the Fort. I was happy with the decision because I immediately recognized the great difference in the over-all learning experience and multi-cultural exposure. Having to adjust to an August school opening was not difficult at all. Given the same K-12 format, I now wish someone told me about the Beacon school , most specially when school fees nowadays, is such an important consideration. Good Luck to the interested scholarship. applicants.

    Mar 29, 2010 | 12:31 pm

     
  16. bearhug0127 says:

    This is truly amazing. May I request for your approval to post this link in my facebook? Thank you very much. How I wish my kids could attend your school!!!

    Mar 29, 2010 | 12:54 pm

     
  17. Lee says:

    I can only imagine what food they serve in the canteens of Beacon Academy. Hmmm… I always believe in the equation: Good Food = Good Grades.

    Mar 29, 2010 | 1:46 pm

     
  18. RobKSA says:

    wow this is great news and I hope the scholarship will be there in 4 years time when I will be an unemployed ofw (retired with no benefits) and my daughter completing grade 8.

    Lee, Zubuchon for Beacon’s lunch :-).

    Mar 29, 2010 | 4:29 pm

     
  19. Jack Hammer says:

    Wow !!!! While doing some research I saw the Fees and other Funds which the parents who send children to this school should pay upfront.

    I commend you as the Robin Hood of Makati.

    Mar 29, 2010 | 4:44 pm

     
  20. RobKSA says:

    so had a quick look at the site, my advise is for the webmaster to check on the site spelling. For example:
    “English Teacher Refererece”, no big deal but does not bode well for whoever comes to visit the site.

    Mar 29, 2010 | 4:59 pm

     
  21. Marketman says:

    Lee, hahaha. Funny you should mention that. At the gradeschool, we do not run the canteen, and the food is best described as typical canteen food. For the academy, we are working on food issues as I type this. :) Jack, ultimately, the idea behind schools such as this if to provide a significant proportion of slots to students who may have otherwise been unable to attend. That way, the student population is broader and more interesting. But to do this, those who can afford to pay have to value those same objectives. If you look at some of the best private high schools in the States, as much as 30% of each grade is supported with financial assistance. Of course, those schools are some 150 years old and have great endowments, and we are much, much younger than that. bearhug, yes, please feel free to put a link on your facebook. Toping, many years down the road, we hope to have a boarding component, so that students seeking a top-notch high school education from the Visayas and Mindanao will have a good alternative in Manila. I suspect I will be I will be old and shriveled up by then, but it is still one of our ultimate goals…

    Mar 29, 2010 | 5:06 pm

     
  22. Jack Hammer says:

    Hey I meant that as a compliment !!!
    Your Heart is in the right place.
    More Power to you. You are more than James Bond…JB

    Mar 29, 2010 | 5:16 pm

     
  23. Marketman says:

    RobKSA, thanks for that, will forward comment to the Webmaster.

    Mar 29, 2010 | 5:29 pm

     
  24. Connie C says:

    “one day in the future (hopefully when most of the founding trustees of the school are still lucid and coherent) when that first Beacon student does something for the national good, applying logic and rationale** and compassion and citizenship, we will smile knowingly.”

    May I add**”critical thinking” which is so lacking in our education today.

    I would also like to say that in retrospect, my own college education was structured for “export”; no wonder the brain drain and the push to go overseas soon after graduation. It is wonderful that many decide to come back and contribute to our nation building as you are a part of that, MM. This is actually the trend among the Chinese nowadays, the younger generation getting the education and experience abroad, then returning home to be their nation’s entrepreneurs, technocrats, innovators, etc.

    In India, their Parliament not only established engineering and technology-oriented institutes of higher learning but also declared these schools as institutes of national importance. This was started soon after the country’s independence in 1947 and largely inspired by Jawaharlal Nehru, who believed that good education is the country’s hope for progress. Wish our government would give education the same importance so we do not lose our teachers to seek better opportunities abroad.

    Best wishes to the Beacon Academy, its students and its mission and to you too MM, for being part of shaping the Academy’s vision.

    Mar 29, 2010 | 7:30 pm

     
  25. Connie C says:

    BTW, we need some boys too in the Academy’s Home group picture.

    Mar 29, 2010 | 7:36 pm

     
  26. Enteng says:

    i wish i could send my son here….

    are they one and the same? http://www.beaconschool.ph and http://www.beaconacademy.ph

    all the best MM!

    Mar 29, 2010 | 8:17 pm

     
  27. Marketman says:

    Enteng, Beacon School is for Kinder through Grade 8, located on Pasong Tamo Extension near the gate of Fort Bonifacio. Beacon Academy is for Grade 9-12, a separate entity, and their campus starting August 2010 will be located in Binan, Laguna. Connie C, I just noticed the photos were of all female students too… rest assured, it is a coed class. And yes, critical thinking is absolutely a major part of this endeavor. :)

    Mar 29, 2010 | 8:31 pm

     
  28. kikas_head says:

    Wow! I checked out the website, the school looks awesome! I love a 12-year system versus a 10-year, if for no other reason then to delay college. I had trouble selecting a major…I can only imagine how much harder it is when one is 16 or 17. I also really love that it is non denominational; it seems a little bit harder to find here then some places. I love, love, love the brief academic outline as well as PE is included. I have been told that PE (at least in the US) is on the decline.

    Major kudos for the scholarships. We have a few kids that we sponsor since moving here and have been really pleasantly surprised at the support we have received from small local private schools in terms of reduced tuition and even one case, a school that accepted a child for high school who did not meet the academic standards on paper, but who we all believe will really thrive in a private school education.

    The tuition, while perhaps high for here, is still almost 1/10 of what my parents paid almost 20 years ago for private school in SF. I think (which I obviously inherited from my parents) that education is the BEST investment one can make and actually saves money in the long run as all of us in my family had either partial/full scholarships for college and one even received a full scholarship for high school boarding school. I now have a severe case of hero worship.

    Mar 29, 2010 | 10:53 pm

     
  29. Connie C says:

    I failed to mention that one of the challenges educators in the country must face is how to educate the youth on ethical standards in the midst of the culture of corruption that is so pervasive in the country today. Hopefully, Beacon will try to make its imprint on their youngsters- in being both moral and ethical citizens our country so badly needs.

    Mar 30, 2010 | 12:35 am

     
  30. bluegirl says:

    Connie C, a few years back, I had a very interesting conversation with a 95-yr old man. He said, he & his friends had suggested to the young Phil gov’t (around the late 40s / early 50s) to push for the establishment and promotion of technical schools all around the country. They knew even then that we needed technically-skilled workers for the country to progress and advance. The government did not take the advise. So it is with great sadness that I say we (the country) had the chance to be in a very different circumstance

    Mar 30, 2010 | 8:23 am

     
  31. Ley says:

    Very admirable MM!

    Mar 30, 2010 | 12:58 pm

     
  32. sisteract says:

    You’re the compleat human being, MM! May the Lord continue to bless all your endeavors.

    Mar 30, 2010 | 1:33 pm

     
  33. thelma says:

    thanks, mm, for the information…and congratulations to you and
    mrs. mm for being a part of beacon academy. education is the
    best that we can give our children.

    Mar 31, 2010 | 5:19 am

     
  34. Avic says:

    MM, thanks for the info. :)

    Apr 3, 2010 | 8:28 pm

     
  35. cynthia filio says:

    Hi. Im glad I saw this blog. Would you still be giving scholarship for school year 2011-2012? if a child just turned 13 this october but is already 2nd year high school, what level would she/he be applying for for school year 2011-2012? Thank you.

    Oct 14, 2010 | 8:06 am

     
  36. A'sMom says:

    Hi! I have a 2-year old toddler who is attending nursery school now. However, I am already researching on some big schools that I’d like to consider for him. May I know, how much tuition is per year?
    Also, will you have a campus in Taguig, or are you re-locating to Laguna. Kindly clarify.

    Thank you!

    Sep 7, 2011 | 11:05 pm

     
  37. Marketman says:

    A’s Mom, please contact the beacon school for more details, this is not a school website you have left the comment on. Or try their website beaconschool.ph for more details…
    Thanks.

    Sep 8, 2011 | 5:22 am

     
 

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