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Investment in Lifelong Learning REX focuses on each learner in every Filipino home Interview by Excel V. Dyquiangco

Research for understanding and innovation

As it celebrates its 70th year as the leader in its category, REX further expands its investment in lifelong learning. The company vows to do this, by increasing its investment in research to help the company create more quality and relevant learning materials.

“REX will keep on growing,” Don assures. “We will make sure that we continue to keep up with the times to ensure the relevance of the lessons, values, and virtues that can be found in our books, which is shared to the learner.”

Jeanne Marie also shares: “Our reason for being is in instilling the awareness of the best possibility to each learner. The learner is the center of what we’re doing, and so we want to develop learners who are 21st century-ready.”

Throughout its history, REX has always been responsive to the shifts that are happening in the market.

In 2012, REX established REX Digital to design and produce learning solutions through the help of technology. It also introduced solutions that empower teachers to implement blended learning delivered in a convenient format.

REX also launched Schoology to condense learning into a single easy-to-use platform so that schools can better facilitate blended learning through a vibrant online learning environment.

The REX Quidbots, on the other hand, is a robotic solution that helps educators improve the way they engage students. It inspires learners to innovate, invent, and create solutions.

“REX acknowledges that there is a need to develop a variety of activities and methods that technology can support so that students get motivated, organized, cooperative, empowered, and creative,” says Danda.

REX ensures that every technology it considers for use in improving the learning experience is aligned with the needs of the market.

“We have to align ourselves to different things,” Danda shares. “We have aligned ourselves to what the market needs. You cannot just introduce something to a group of learners without really understanding their needs or pain points.”

The company considers a lot of factors before embarking on product development. It looks at the behavior of the students, the behavior of its end-users.

“You have to know the trends while also grounding it to reality,” Danda adds. “We always ask ourselves: Are we ready for it? A lot of factors have to be looked into when you are in product development and service development. It’s not just producing something. It’s not just a usual product where you just mix two chemicals and you expect the same results over and over.”

In light of its investments in education, Rex Interactive and Rex Publishing Online entered the picture.

“We are not just in education,” Danda shares. “We are also investing in the development of every stakeholder for education. We are developing people holistically because we believe it’s not enough to be just knowledgeable.”

“You also have to be able to imbibe the skills that you need to face in this harsh world. If you are not knowledgeable with the skills, you cannot collaborate, you cannot think critically, you cannot work with people, you cannot communicate, and you can’t empathize. This is what we have been doing all along.”

Understand the needs of learners

“I worked outside for 10 years as a speech therapist for children with special needs before being invited by my cousin Don,” says Jeanne Marie.

“I understand the value of teaching children because I handled them in my previous work. They then put me in charge of the Marketing team. We had professionals who helped me to organize the team, and it was a timely move to the family business because I can help more people and contribute to a bigger cause.

As a speech therapist, my reach was very limited. With REX, there’s a bigger cause, a deeper meaning into my life. Education is close to my heart.”

Thus, REX, which has been in the business for 70 years, seeks to invest not just in education but in its people and learners.

This is critical in ensuring that the company knows where it can contribute, and the help it needs from its valued partners.

Valued partners

REX has always acknowledged the importance of working with the right partners in pushing its advocacy.

Since a lot of learning takes place in schools, REX has always valued the schools that continue to believe in REX in ensuring the efficacy of teaching students.

“I was invited by my grandfather to join REX because he saw the importance of a family member taking care of the schools,” Dandashares. “He felt that it would be nice for me to be involved in that area so that the company would understand their needs, directions, thrusts, mission, and vision.”

Danda could have taken up law, but a higher calling was underway. “I am proud of what we in REX have contributed to better understand our partners,” says Danda.

Understanding the needs and future direction of its partners allowed REX to make critical decisions all throughout its existence. It still does.

Its partnership with thought leaders has also allowed the company to flourish in every learning area. Working with the right subject matter experts has always been considered as in important component of the REX business.

REX values its deep relationship with more than 700 authors who have been working relentlessly to provide quality and relevant learning materials for the company.

With a refreshed partnership agenda in place, REX will continue to conquer every vertical it considers important as it continues to journey to be in every Filipino home.

With this journey comes the realization that the company needs to focus more on developing its most important resource—its people.

“Para sa bawat empleyado”

“We value our people and the hard work they put in to contribute to the fulfillment of our vision,” says Don.

REX Chief Operations Officer Roger John “Sunday” Fontelera agrees with Don. “I believe that human capital is the most important asset of the company so we invest in our people.”

Don and Sunday make up the formidable duo that is leading REX to greater heights. “If the CEO has the gift of stewardship, I have the gift of connection,” Sunday shares. “If I find a connection with someone, we can work together easily.”

Together with them is the leadership team that is gung-ho in pushing the boundaries to ensure that REX will attain its “every Filipino home” agenda. This team is complemented by a REX team that pushes for the realization of the Edukampyon dream.

Celebrating seven decades

Now on its 70th year, REX remain a leader in the educational publishing industry. Big plans are in place to celebrate the legacy, to fulfill the advocacy, and actualize the vision of “Rex in every Filipino home”.

“We intend to launch the new REX in an exciting way,” Jeanne shares. “This will happen soon but first we need to transform within. We want our employees to reach the highest potential of what they can be. That way, they can contribute more to helping the learner succeed.”

Sunday adds: “REX is here, but if we don’t do effective and efficient work, all our hard work and efforts may come to an end, and I hope that won’t happen.”

“We are calling on all our partners to take part in this celebration,” says Danda. “We have always considered them a big contributor to our success, and we will remain indebted to them.”

“The next 70 years of REX will be an exciting time for every kind of learner and for the entire nation,” Don reveals. “We will pull all stops to realize our vision because now more then ever we are being driven by a force bigger than all of us, that is to reach out and journey with every learner and help them become lifelong learners that are ready to help others and transform this nation.”

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