Chinese Online Education Platform 51Talk Needs More Filipino Teachers

Media Release:

WHILE the Philippine economy reels from the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic with the easing of quarantine restrictions, the months-long quarantine have created a chain reaction that led to many Filipinos losing their jobs and livelihood.

On March 16, President Rodrigo Duterte declared the entire island of Luzon with its population of 58 million under community quarantine to contain the Covid-19 outbreak. Though community quarantine measures are effective methods in flattening the infection curve, it resulted in a downturn in economic activity.

Public transport was halted and the movement of private vehicles was also regulated. Various industries were badly-hit, causing a stoppage of business operations, massive lay-offs, and cease-hiring altogether. Tourism, trade, and consumption drastically dropped during this period, and according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III, 2.6 million Filipinos have already lost their jobs due to the temporary halting of operations of business establishments.

Related stories: 51Talk in the Philippines

As the onsite or office-based jobs and opportunities dwindled, home-based, online jobs and livelihoods flourished as a safe and resilient way to conduct business and continue earning.

The Philippines, as among the most populous English-speaking nations, has long been a destination for top business process outsourcing firms and call centers. In recent years, online English teaching has become a very popular career choice, which turned out to be one of the least affected jobs amid the pandemic. Most online teachers in the Philippines typically work from home, which insulated them from the quarantine measures that have devastated other businesses.

Being an online English teacher can be very rewarding. In 2019, the average monthly salary in the Philippines was Php50,600 and online English teachers may earn more than this amount per month, depending on their number of classes.

51Talk online teaching platform needs more Filipino teachers.
51Talk CEO Jack Huang in one of the company’s celebrations for its Filipino teachers. (Photo file by SDN — Science & Digital News)

Online English platform 51Talk, which has been around since 2011, has been promoting this home-based online English teaching opportunity. 51Talk connects its 20,000 English teachers to Chinese students using its proprietary technology called Air Class to deliver live,  one-on-one, interactive, and fun lessons.

More earnings in time of lockdown

Zeeryl Vivi, a licensed professional teacher from Bacolod City, has been teaching with 51Talk for two years now. Zeeryl said that her earnings have increased during the pandemic because her students are mostly staying at home

“I continued to earn from home despite the quarantine restrictions. I actually realized that I was earning more than usual and I was able to provide for my family’s needs. This home-based opportunity really helped us a lot.”

Despite initial reservations, more and more people are coming to appreciate online freelance opportunities that are flexible yet stable and sustainable.

“My family is really thankful that I was able to contribute even more during this time. My dad was not able to receive his salary for two months and I was able to cover some of the bills that we have here at home,” adds Zeeryl.

Teacher Xandra Hill found her career as a professional pilot in limbo as travel restrictions meant that the travel industry was put in a standstill.

“As a pilot, the world literally stopped for me because of the suspension of work, which was my main source of income. I had to look for alternative means to earn and sustain my family’s daily necessities. That’s how I found 51Talk,” says Xandra.

51Talk Philippines Country Head Jennifer Que.
51Talk Philippines Country Head Jennifer Que. (Source: 51Talk.

Xandra is a graduate of AB Psychology and loves to teach. She said that her family felt proud that she was able to be productive during the quarantine while helping people in a different kind of way. “To those looking for a job in these trying times, I strongly recommend teaching at 51Talk. You can earn in the comfort and safety of your own homes, anytime. All you need is a computer, a good internet connection, and a heart that is willing to serve other people through teaching,” adds Xandra.

51Talk encourages teachers to undergo training

Newly-launched teacher Trixie Laura worked as a production staff in an advertising company before she joined 51Talk. Having no background in teaching, she said it was quite challenging at first because teaching was far from what she was used to doing. At 51Talk, teachers are encouraged to attend the free training sessions that equip them with the necessary teaching skills to make them competent and confident in handling online lessons. “This livelihood opportunity helped me discover new skills and has eased my anxiety as I get to earn and keep myself busy,” explained Trixie.

51Talk, even throughout the pandemic, has been hard-at-work in empowering Filipinos across the Philippines by spreading awareness about the advantages of being a home-based online English teacher through digital conferences and webinars, and social media campaigns.

51Talk recently has generated a great deal of attention in the news and in social media.

In a video message posted on social media, 51Talk CEO Jack Huang encouraged Filipinos whose regular work was affected to join his company.

“If the pandemic affected your job, then 51Talk can offer you a new option. There has probably never been a better time than right now to teach English online,” says Huang. (51Talk)



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