If you are a teacher looking for an easier teaching job: no hassles like commuting, or beating Metro Manila’s notorious traffic gridlock, then, READ ON.

Better still, even if you are not a teacher by profession as long as you have a passion for teaching English to mostly kids, then if you qualify you might like a job with China’s 51Talk (pronounced as Five-One-Talk), considered the world’s “largest leading English education platform.”

51talk groupie

Perhaps, most important of all, is a monthly salary from Php40,000 to Php80,000, and you do not have to leave the comfort of your home.

On Tuesday, September 25, at SM Megamall Trade Hall, the online education platform’s executives from China and Filipinos based in the Philippines, celebrated the National Teachers’ Day with over 1,000 of its teacher-employees who came all the way from Mindanao, the Visayas, and Luzon as well as from the National Capital Region (NCR).

Jack Huang, founder and CEO of 51Talk, and some of his fellow Chinese executives of the education platform and their Filipino executives and staff met some members of the news media in the Philippines.

51talk Jack

He said they plan to hire 100,000 Filipino online teachers in five years, saying they are the new “OFW” — online Filipino workers. (OFW’s original meaning is overseas Filipino workers.)

“We have over US$100 million investment. We have to make sure our system is stable. Our students can access our platform using different devices,” said Huang.

The 51Talk CEO explained why they are focusing on hiring Filipinos as teachers, adding they do not have to be teachers by profession.

“Our goal is to make every student communicate well in English…more and more people (in China)..students and parents want to learn English,” he said.

51talk Mindanao

At present, he said the platform has 250,000 students in China and has been in over 500 cities and growing.

“We want to make the quality of education accessible and affordable in China,” said the 51Talk founder.

He pointed that 51Talk is listed in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in the United Sates as China Online Education (COE).

Huang said they have over three million plus lessons per month, 25 minutes for every lesson, which translates to 100 million minutes a month.

So, why Filipinos

Filipinos are fit to teach (Chinese) kids; the Philippines has abundance of teachers in English; Filipinos are culturally compatible with Chinese people being in the same region, understand each other, and also very important, both peoples live in the same time zone, he emphasized.

51talk costume

“Filipino teachers are the best in  the world; we believe in Filipino teachers; they prove they can be the best teachers.

Around 85 percent of the students are children from four to 12 years old, and 15 percent adults. The students give ratings to their teacher which are seen by the students’ parents.

The 51Talk platform, he said, gives teachers freedom, flexible work schedule, and many training opportunities.

“In the next five years, we are going to recruit 100,000 online teachers (from the Philippines),” said Huang as 51Talk endeavors to enable every student to communicate effectively in English to the world.

Why English, not Chinese

Huang said the English language is already globally established, while at the same time they are may also create another platform for Chinese language propagation.

In relation with 51Talk’s plans in the Philippines, Jenny K. Que, the vice president for Philippines Operations, revealed that they have struck a partnership with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to further open opportunities for more teachers to work for the platform.

She said 51Talk also tied up with PLDT for its Digital Livelihood partnership for “Gabay Guro” program.

51talk teachers

“We are also expanding and adding more 51Talk centers (of learning),” said Que, saying at present they have five center is Bacolod, Baguio, Cebu, Davao, and Pasig cities.

She added that two more centers are soon to open in Quezon City and in Imus, Cavite.

“Now, we have 15,000 teachers, and by-end of the year we will hit 17,000,” said Que confidently.

At least 1,000 of 51Talk’s online teachers attended the celebration.

Huang said that moving forward they are going to expand to the higher-tier cities in China to cover more students.

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He said their teachers earn from Php40,000 to Php80,000 a month. They also have lots of other opportunities such as home-based mentors, home-based trainors, lots of training to make them ready and capable teachers.

Those who want to work for 51Talk must have a high-end computer (at least i3 specs, big RAM and storage) as the lessons are mostly in video format.

They must also have a high connectivity (online cabled internet) as Wi-Fi is not sufficient.

But mind you, the requirements or qualifications, aside from being a college graduate are tough also.

Of a given 100 applicants, usually only 10 manage to pass and qualify as 51Talk online teachers.

51Talk came about in China in 2011, then entered the Philippines in 2012 as it started creating jobs for home-based online teachers.

The platform then was listed in 2016 (NYSE:COE), “becoming the first, the largest, and the only Chinese online educational platform currently listed…(established its) brand reputation as a global innovator.”

Why “51Talk”

The name brand may be translated as “I want to TALK” because in Chinese, five sounds like the word letter “I” and one sounds like the word “want.”

Huang co-founded the company with Sue Ting, who was the former 51Talk country manager for the Philippines.

Through discovered Filipino teachers through the internet and, as they say, the rest is history. (EKU)