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Fluent Daily News Story

COVID-19 is not going away without a fight.

Despite the slow recovery of the GDP and the closing of many companies — including ESL or English As a Second Language, schools, the government is positive that losses due to the travel restriction will be gained back. In line with this, they are urging these ESL companies to continue teaching but online.

Cram schools are an essential part of an East Asian student’s road to success. Some native teachers whose first language is English charge an online English class of a minimum of PHP 1,500 per hour.

The Sleeping Giant in ESL

The Philippines’ labor force is the sleeping giant in this industry.

The lower pay, more amiable approach, and good proficiency of English make Filipinos a magnet for international students. Cram schools operating locally, pay Filipino teachers an average of PHP 100 to PHP 400 for an hour class.

Just 7 months ago, the Philippines was nearing an unemployment crisis of 17.7 percent or 7.3 million unemployed Filipinos, reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority. 

Many local ESL schools believe that this market is still far from being fully tapped.

In a discussion organized by the British Council, efforts to step up the labor force in improving the teaching of English is recommended. Other than being fluent, there are still a lot of skills that an ESL teacher must excel at.

Fluent Daily news Story

Typhoons and online classes

The year 2020 is testing Filipinos’ limits in terms of resilience and most importantly, resourcefulness.

Just this year, typhoons have brought floods to different parts of the Philippines. "Disruptions in classes are a normal thing", says Clariza Orosco, an ESL teacher in Cagayan. "You have to have a back-up in just about everything"

This is especially difficult for the technology-challenged Philippines, whose internet speed of less than 5 Mbps is common.

Tourism and ESL

Unless there's a completely pandemic-proof business or job, a person cannot rely on only one source of income.

While some hospitality companies can adapt to the changing times, some can't. For instance, Airbnb's online worldwide experiences are "thematically and culturally diverse", meaning there are no two identical activities.

The toll is massive. Nobody knew that 2020 would be the year when many airline and travel companies would close.

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, many Koreans flocked to Cebu as the destination of choice for ESL because of the striking beaches, amazing food, and beautiful malls. The closure of many language schools in Cebu this 2020 may seem not so promising.

A Positive Outlook

This unique year of natural calamities, COVID-19 outbreak, and the shift of most companies to online has taught us so many things. The favorable choice is to thrive.

Who knows, 2020 may not be the most unique year yet. The government is positive that ESL schools will recover.

We just can't wait for this to happen. One thing's for sure, the virus is not going away soon. This may be a good time for freelancers, including ESL teachers, to sharpen skills and market their services internationally. The recent travel ban of foreigners going to China may not seem like a good sign. However, people are still going to be resourceful and this news is not going to deter Filipinos.



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