PAREF (Parents for Education Foundation, Inc.) was established in 1977 by a group of parents and educators to address the need for a holistic approach to education and character formation.  PAREF schools are inspired by the life and teachings of Saint Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei, who, in his lifetime, personally encouraged Filipino parents to establish a parent-student-teacher education system in the Philippines. 

PAREF Schools are all-boys and all-girls schools, which are technically referred to as single-sex schools. Recent research in the United States and in Europe has shown the beneficial effects of single-sex schooling for grade school to high school over coeducation. Since the brains of boys and girls are different, and they learn differently, research has shown that it is best to teach them differently.