It is now quite common for families to relocate so their children can enroll in a school that is best suited to their learning style. Many look at the south of Metro Manila because a lot has been said about the premium quality of life available there. But which schools are worth making the big leap?
Here’s a list of possibilities for your incoming first-grader. (Please note this isn't an all-encompassing directory. But it can help you hopefully make a decision how much money to set aside if you're looking at a particular educational system. The schools are listed randomly.)
Paref Southridge is an exclusive non-sectarian school for male students Grades 1 to 12. It is known for its Math and English programs as well as sports. It has a strong home-school collaboration and a Christian doctrine imbued in the curriculum. It also has a "Personal Formation Mentoring Program," where each child is assigned a teacher as mentor.
Annual fees: P120,000++ (miscellaneous fees, books and uniforms not included) Payment schemes: Monthly, quarterly, semestral and annual Class hours: 7:20 a.m. to 1:40 p.m. Class size: Average of 25 students per class with three sections per level Total school population: Around 1,000 students
Application period: Starts in August with exams scheduled in October and offered on a first come, first serve basis. Call 807-3644 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unit 404 Venture Bldg. Prime corner Market Sts., Madrigal Business Park, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa
Annual fees: P160,000 excluding books (the school does not require uniforms) Payment schemes: Annual, monthly, quarterly or 50% downpayment with balance divided over 9 months Class hours: 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Class size: Average of 10-15 students per class with one section per level Total school population: 60 students
This Christian and non-traditional school is fairly new (established in 2012), but it aims to produce students with personal mastery and creative intelligence, according to Cherie Co, its owner and director. “These are students who are curious, purposeful in articulation, able to collaborate, co-creators of the Filipino narrative, and are global citizens,” she adds.
Application period: September 2017. Call 772-5064.
The school, which accepts students from 14 months to 18 years old, follows the school philosphy of Dr. Maria Montessori. It believes it can produce excellent and well-rounded students “in partnership with an informed and cooperative home environment,” says Toni Sebastian, head of school for its NCR campuses. Take advantage of the three-day trial period at no cost where cognitive and behavioral assessments are done. Annual fees: Approximately P150,000 Payment schemes: Monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual Class hours: 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Class size: Montessori offers mixed-age classes. A typical classroom will have two adults: One Montessori guide and one Assist. The maximum number of students for Lower Elementary (ages 6-9) is 32. Total school population: 45 students
Application period: Call 845-2090 or 0917-5019397 to schedule a free trial. 4. The Bridge School 29 Cairo St., BF Northwest, BF Homes Parañaque City
This progressive school tries to achieve a balance between lectures and collaborative work with the children using a personalized approach. “We follow all the mandates of DepEd, but we also use a mixture of hands-on materials, especially in Math,” says school directress Katrina Del Rosario. Annual fees: P100,000++ (books and uniforms not included) Payment schemes: Annual, semi-annual and trimestral Class hours: 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Class size: Maximum of 21 students. Two teachers are automatically assigned to a class once the class has more than 15 students. Total school population: 210 students
Application period: School tours, trial classes, and entrance exams start in January 2018. Call Vicky Nievera at 0917-5374435.
5. Thinkers Unlimited 2&3F Zarcon Building, Filinvest Ave., Filinvest Corp. City, Alabang (between Acacia Hotel and South Supermarket)
“We believe that each child is different and would like to provide the kind of education that honors their differences,” says school directress Thumby Server-Veloso. Take advantage of its short group lessons. Teachers are encouraged to focus on working with students individually or in groups and pairs.
Annual fees: P132,800 (including books. School does not require uniforms) Payment schemes: Quarterly, semestral and annual Class hours: 8:00 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Class size: 14 students Total school population: 28 students from Grade 1-4
Application period: Starts in January 2018. Call 0917-9898255 or email email@example.com.
Annual fees: P127,250 net (no school books and uniforms required for Grade 1) Payment schemes: Monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual Class hours: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Class size: 20 students with one class per level Total school population: 236 students
The school follows an education program based on the scientific research of Austrian scientist and philosopher Rudolf Steiner. “It is a space where young students can fully enjoy their childhood through the experiential way of understanding concepts, through the appreciation of music and arts, and through creating good learning habits,” says marketing and admissions coordinator Lenifer Carlos.
Application period: Applicants are accepted year-round. After submitting admission requirements, parent interview and child assessment are conducted. This is then followed by a three-day trial period. The student may be admitted if there is an available slot. Call Lenifer Carlos at 0917-5540435 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teachers at the Jesuit-run Catholic co-ed basic education school are continuously trained by veteran teachers from the school's parent branch in San Juan. “The class adviser handles most of the subjects that the students study, so the teacher is very familiar with students and is able to give specific anecdotal feedback to the parents,” says Ria Marifosque from the Student Activities Program. The last period for each day is "study hall" where students get to tackle homework, so it lessens the work they bring home. Kinder to Grade 4 students do not have quarterly exams.
Annual fees: Approximately P120,000 (books and uniforms included) Payment schemes: Quarterly, semestral, and annual Class hours: 7:30 a.m. to 2:20 p.m. Class size: Average of 24 students per class, with 4 sections for Grade 1 Total school population: Around 1,000 students
Application period: Application forms and other documents will be available on their website by September 4, 2017. Contact Jennifer Pesa at email@example.com or call 664-0143 and (049) 576-2560. The school also offers grants or financial aid for those who want to avail of a Xavier education but cannot afford it. 8. Miriam College Nuvali Diversity Avenue corner Evoliving Parkway, Nuvali, Calamba City, Laguna
This co-ed Catholic school uses a mix of traditional and progressive methods of teaching with hands-on activities based on students’ interests. "In partnership with the main campus, Miriam College Nuvali brought to the South its unique brand of education guided by its core values of truth, justice, peace and integrity of creation,” says Cynthia Morales, assistant to the president, Miriam College Nuvali. Annual fees: Approximately P92,000 (books and uniforms included) Payment schemes: Annual, semestral and quarterly Class size: 25 to 30 students per class, with two sections for Grade 1 Total school population: 576 students
Application period: Entrance exams usually start in October, but you are encouraged to download application forms and complete requirements ahead of time. Call (049) 576-0987, 0917-6786268, 0939-9294461 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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9. St. Scholastica’s College Westgrove Ayala Westgrove Heights, Silang, Cavite, Philippines
St. Scholastica’s College Westgrove (SSCW) offers outcome-based education that follows the DepEd K to 12 program and its motto of the Benedictine order, "ora et labora" (pray and work). “The school not only inspires the minds of the young, it also transforms the heart and soul through shared prayer life, a spirit of community, and a love for knowledge, truth, and culture,” says assistant principal Leah Sacay. The school is the only exclusive school for girls south of Metro Manila. Annual fees: P79,098.25 (books and uniforms included) Payment schemes: Quarterly, semestral, and annual Class hours: 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Class size: 20-25 students per class with 1-2 sections per level Total school population: 504 students
Application period: Entrance exams usually start in October. Call (046) 511-0424, 0920-8444480 or email email@example.com.
The school program puts emphasis on the child’s individuality and exposes kids to materials and experiences that develop self-learning skills. "We are a premium alternative for parents seeking quality education without the prohibitive costs," says the school founder and directress Emelita V. Almosara, who was a former executive director of the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA) and deputy executive director of the National Historical Institute (NHI), now known as the NationalHistorical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).
Annual fees: P35,760 inclusive of books, notebooks, and uniforms Payment schemes: Monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual Class hours: 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. or 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Class size: Average of 20 students per class with 2 sections in Grade 1 Total school population: 295 students from preschool to Junior High
Application period: Entrance exams are offered March until April. Call 868-2212 for inquiries.