Since it opened its doors in the Philippines, Tutoring Club has been all about getting children up to speed academically. Three years ago, this purpose grew to include a part of our society that needed help the most – the public sector.

Newsletter recently sat down with Ms. Marides Lacson, COO of Tutoring Club Philippines, to talk about how this development came to pass. Ms. Marides backtracks a little bit (to almost 3 years ago!) to take us through the happy accident.

“The Chairman, Mr. Rico Bautista – who brought Tutoring Club to the Philippines – was actually looking for new business opportunities. He introduced our system to some of the bigger schools in hopes that partnerships could arise out of it. In one of these rounds he happened to talk to someone, to one of the brothers in Ateneo, about what he’s been doing in education. And that Brother said. ‘You know, our education system has deteriorated so much in the public sector that this has become something we really need’”.

Since that fateful meeting, it was a matter of trial and error. Initially connecting with certain foundations, until it eventually led to a partnership with the Department of Education. “DepEd looked through our system and liked what they saw,” says Ms. Marides. “And they actually had an avenue where we could enter. It’s called the Adopt A School Program – a 3 party agreement where the Department of Education, the service provider (in this case, us), and a corporation keen on sponsorships in exchange for tax incentives can come together. That’s how it all began.”

After DepEd gave Tutoring Club a choice of schools, and following thorough ocular inspections, Kamuning Elementary School (KES) was chosen as the Club’s first foray into the public sector. “It was a pilot project on our part. The challenge was in how we could convince others that our system actually worked. So as a corporation ourselves, we worked as both service provider and sponsor. The initial 6 month trial program, turned out to be a 3 year project at KES which helped over 1,000 students in our Math, Reading and Writing programs with the help of other generous donors.

Schoolyear 2014-15 sets another milestone as a new benefactor came in to expand Tutoring Club’s presence in the public sector to include the Betty Go Belmonte Elementary School. Seeing as how Ms. Marides says they are still negotiating with other sponsors, it’s probably safe to expect that we’ll see more in the future.