MINT COLLEGE CHALLENGES WHAT EDUCATION SHOULD BE IN THE PHILIPPINES
- By Ed Lorenzo
- 5 years ago in CULTURE
- No Comments
In a country laden with traditional and rigid educational practices, Meridian International (MINT) College in McKinley Hill, Taguig stands out as a “unicorn” with their modern and progressive approach to teaching students.
The school is made for the student of this millennium—MINT College, as it is better known, was established in 2010 with the aim of revolutionizing education to enhance every student’s learning experience.
The school as a canvass
“Our school was built as if it was a canvass for the kids who were to enroll here. We encouraged them to turn the school into what they envision it to be,” said MINT College’s Executive Vice President Hendrik Kiamzon. “Some would say that our school’s ways are too liberal, but we beg to digress—our students are encouraged to be creative while we teach them how to turn their passions into professions.”
True enough, a campus visit would reveal white walls rife with students’ calligraphy, writings, illustrations, and paintings. Other schools would call it vandalism, but MINT flips the table by providing students with a Freedom Wall that they could use however they want, “as long as what they do with it does not impinge on another person’s feelings or beliefs”, Kiamzon said. The school also has state of the art facilities with complete equipment: a theater, a rehearsal studio, a recording studio, and two computer laboratories that offer both Apple and Microsoft interfaces, all of which are readily available to students.
Real-world application is key
With the campus as a canvass, MINT College also managed to combine their business, arts, and technology programs with tons of creativity. Everything began when they first offered the Music Business Management (MBM) program for college, which was founded by the late Eugene Villaluz, who was a veteran singer, and A&R Director for Viva Entertainment and Warner Music Philippines.
“The program was the first of its kind in the country. It basically put our students into real-world situations where they have to have business insight, creativity, and an understanding of relevant technology to the music industry,” Kiamzon shared. So far, the program has helped its students release over 30 EP’s over the span of eight years and has countless students who are performing in the indie gig circuit of the country.
From a single program that successfully combined the trifecta of business, arts, and technology sprung seven other programs: Film, Multimedia Arts, Theater Arts, Marketing, Entrepreneurial Management, Computer Science, and Information Technology.
“When the MBM program took off, it made sense for us to use it as an archetype for the rest of our programs. We wanted to emphasize portfolio-building, and provide real-world experience to our students,” explained Kiamzon. The students are taught by industry professionals who share their local and international work experience. He shared that this arrangement with multimedia, business, and technology professionals help ensure that the students are learning what’s necessary to their respective fields, “This way, our students are learning the best industry practices as early as their school years.”
Currently, the school offers the eight college programs mentioned above and in 2016, MINT College opened MINT High, which offered Arts and Design Track, Accountancy, Business and Management Track, and a General Academic Track. All these tracks seamlessly lead to MINT College’s 4-year bachelor’s degree programs.
Shaking up the education industry
Humbly standing on their one-floor campus in the Commerce and Industry Plaza in McKinley Hill, MINT College continues to truly redefine education for all their college and senior high school students. One of the key factors that the school attributes this progression to is the community that they have built within the school, “You can ask any of our students, and they will tell you that the school has taught them how to work with other people. We’re very big on collaboration, and it’s this very core value that helped us build a community in which students are free to work with their classmates, students from other programs, faculty, or even the school administration.”
The school, young as it may be, has proven itself to be one of the very few institutions that dare challenge the educational norm in the Philippines. “Sometimes we would have parents who are doubtful of whether the school will be conducive to their children’s learning, what with our bean bags and replacement of textbooks with laptops and tablets,” Kiamzon smiles as if finding this doubt amusing. He iterates that for progress to happen, people should begin shaking things up, “They were used to uniformity, tradition and what is ‘usual’ in the classroom, and that made them comfortable. Well, we say to them, if you look at history, nothing was discovered in comfort, right? Innovation is borne from creativity and change, and this is the very essence of MINT College.”
Enrollment at MINT College for S.Y. 2018-2019 is ongoing. MINT College offers programs in business, arts, and technology with a cross-disciplinary approach strictly adhering to internationally accepted standards. MINT students thrive in a collaborative environment immersed in creativity and engaging activities that prepare them for real-world application. To learn more about MINT College, visit http://www.mintcollege.com/, or call us at (02) 551-9650 or (02) 551-9655.
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