By Jhon Aldrin Casinas
A Beijing-based online school is hiring 100,000 Filipino teachers who will teach English to Chinese nationals online over the next five years.
Jack Huang, founder and CEO of 51Talk, noted in a press conference that Filipino teachers are the “best online English teachers in the world.”
He declared that 51Talk, which means “I want to talk,” has about 18,000 online English teachers all over the world and about 16,000 of these are home-based Filipino digital teachers.
“Filipinos’ English competency is very high, they speak very fluent English, they can understand Chinese culture better than other countries, and most importantly, we have the same time zones so our teachers and students do not need to suffer from the time differences,” Huang explaining why the company chose to hire Filipino teachers.
Aside from the massive hiring of teachers, Huang said 51Talk plans to expand their training centers from seven to 20. After it was launched in the Philippines in 2012, 51Talk has established offices in Pasig, Bacolod, Baguio, Imus, Cebu, Davao, and Angeles city.
Officials of 51Talk said they hope to conduct more career development programs and provide certification and trainings for online English teachers.
They, however, acknowledged that Internet connectivity in the country is a concern they want to immediately address to further the company’s development.
Jennifer Que, 51Talk vice president for Philippine operations, said that the role of Internet service providers in the country is “very critical” to the company adding that 51Talk already partnered with PLDT, Inc., Globe Telecom, Inc., and Converge ICT Solutions, Inc. and will “follow their fiber” to have better access to Internet service.
51Talk has partnered with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to allow them to use their facilities in training teachers.
51Talk now has over 10 million registered users and is the first education company to be listed in the New York Stock Exchange in 2016.