HISTORY OF PENIEL INTEGRATED CHRISTIAN ACADEMY OF RIZAL (PICAR)
The name PENIEL is derived from the Bible in Genesis 32:30:
And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”
Peniel Integrated Christian Academy of Rizal, or PICAR, is a member-school of the Association of Christian Educators of the Philippines (ASCEP) and started in 1996 as Christian Heritage Academy, then a small school with the vision of educating a small number of students from a church membership based on a Bible-context academic curriculum. The school’s primary intention was to infuse character-building lessons into ordinary studies with the ultimate goal of nurturing spiritual growth and building up the knowledge base of every growing child.
In order to accommodate its growing student population over the years, the school was reorganized into a non-stock, non-profit corporation and later renamed to PICAR in 2000. The number of students steadily grew to almost 100 ably supported by six teachers. And as more enrollees came in, PICAR decided to move to a bigger location with better facilities and was eventually given official accreditation by the Department of Education (DepEd).
From 2000 onwards, because of providing consistent and quality education service, PICAR’s number of enrollees exponentially grew. In 2005, student population more than doubled which necessitated the hiring of more teaching staff. In light of this development, PICAR moved anew to a much bigger location which houses a three-story building complete with learning facilities in 42 Burgos Street, Vista Verde Executive Village, Cainta, Rizal.
In 2008, the school achieved another milestone with PICAR opening its doors to foreign students with a Special Student Permit and Level 1 accreditation. PICAR was able to enroll around 50 foreign students for the school year 2008-2009, with the number having grown since then.
Also in 2008, PICAR introduced the Home Education Program which was designed to provide an alternative delivery system of educating children who are unable to enter formal or regular schooling.
In 2009, PICAR successfully integrated into its education system the Open High School Program, an alternative mode of secondary education that uses distance learning for students who are unable to attend regular class programs mainly because of physical impairment and financial difficulties. This is in consonance with the goal of the Education for All (EFA) of making every Filipino functionally literate.
For the years ahead, PICAR or PENIEL still strives to become an even better institution of learning. Plans are underway to relocate to a yet bigger facility in view of the ever-growing number of interested enrollees from pre-school, grade school to high school, a testament to PICAR’s relentless drive to provide the best quality basic education for everyone.