51Talk hiring Filipino online teachers

CHINA-BASED online teaching company 51Talk is inviting Filipinos to become online teachers to combat the job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“If the pandemic took your job, then 51Talk can offer you a new one,” said 51Talk founder and chief executive officer Jack Huang.

The company, he said, still needs 30,000 more teachers by 2020.

51Talk is China’s largest online English education company, and has been publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange since 2016.

It brings together students and teachers for live, online English lessons. By providing students across China with access to the world’s best quality education, 51Talk is achieving its mission of helping China speak with the world.

Shortage

According to 51Talk, there is a shortage of 500,000 foreign English-language teachers in China. The company said it now has 10 million registered students, and more than 20,000 partner teachers in the Philippines.

Huang said he sees the pandemic as a turning point for online education with people now isolated in their homes.

“With the exploding demand for English-speaking teachers in China, there is probably never been a better time than right now to teach English online,” he said.

Amid the pandemic, online teaching turned out to be one of the least affected jobs. Many online teachers in the Philippines typically work from home, which insulated them from the home quarantine measures that have devastated other businesses.

Teaching online is also rewarding.

In 2019, the average monthly salary in the Philippines was about P50,000. Meanwhile a 51Talk online teacher earns more than P60,000 per month.

Natural advantage

According to Huang, Filipinos have natural advantages to becoming online English teachers.

“The Philippines is one of the best English-speaking countries in Asia. Filipino teachers have standard American pronunciation. More than one million Filipinos work at call centers in the United States,” said Huang. “All you need is a stable internet connection, a laptop, a built-in or external webcam, a headset and a quiet space to teach.”

Some five to 10 million workers could lose their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdowns. At least 2.6 million workers were displaced permanently or temporarily as of May, according to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III. (KOC with PR)