Maple Bear: Teaching Children the Best with its Innovative Concepts

Shalini Jaiswal | Maple Bear
Shalini Jaiswal | Maple Bear

“Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela

The quote above shows us how important education stands in every individual’s life. As we all know, the three main phases of education—primary, secondary, and high school- make a massive impact on children’s future endeavors. The zeal to change the world and bring innovation is the most powerful aspect one can get through education. Usually, pre-primary schooling is not considered of much importance, but it is the most efficient aspect in the development of the brain for children.

The things children learn in pre-primary schools gives them an upper edge to face secondary and high school brilliantly. One such school taking care of education with its innovative concepts is Maple Bear. Its franchising option has bridged the gap for many people looking to enter the education sector.

Maple Bear is one of the top pre-primary schools and tries to make an impact globally. In an interview with Insights Success, the Director and COO of the Maple Bear, Ms. Shalini Jaiswal, shares her creative thoughts and how she handles the operations at Maple Bear. Below are the highlights of the interview.

Please walk us through Maple Bear and its journey.

Part of one of the fastest growing international educational brands with 550+ schools in 30+ countries, Maple Bear South Asia brings the very best of globally reckoned Canadian early childhood and elementary school practices to India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. We offer Preschool, Elementary and Infant Care programs, delivered in a safe, secure and stimulating environment that instills in students a passion for lifelong learning.

Today, more than 8000 students in 130+ Maple Bear schools across South Asia are benefitting from the methodology and curriculum developed by our Canadian faculty of expert educators, and this number is steadily growing.

Maple Bear South Asia is a joint venture between Maple Bear Global Schools Ltd, Canada and Modi Edutech (Modi Group).

What special offerings does Maple Bear provides that makes it apart from others?

Maple Bear uses a specially designed and proprietary curriculum, with specific lesson plans and learning outcomes, based on Canadian best education practices that place Canada in the top tier of international educational rankings such as PISA from the OECD. Unlike international schools, Maple Bear conforms to local education regulations so children can move between systems and are prepared for post-secondary education in their own country as well as abroad. Maple Bear program is a living breathing curriculum that is constantly being updated. We have a distinguished Canadian faculty of trainers, curriculum writers and quality assurance people who travel the world to ensure the program is delivered correctly and that schools conform to all Maple Bear standards. We look after our staff’s professional development with regular training and offerings of continuing education courses at Canadian institutions. We see Maple Bear and Canadian education as mediators of social change through a targeted, Community Investment Program; and, through integrated themes of social/global citizenship in the MB curriculum.

“Our goal is to deliver a student-focused learning system in a safe, secure and stimulating environment that prepares students for success at the high school and post-secondary level and that instills a passion for lifelong learning. The Maple Bear Program is designed to educate the whole child – physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially”

How was Maple Bear affected in these pandemic times, and what were the steps taken by you to curb the damages while helping your clients and maintaining the safety of your employees?

In the last 2 years, the Pre-school sector has been most impacted by the pandemic. Most parents had financial difficulties and the lack of interest in early childhood education led to low demand for preschools; moreover, it was found that many parents were more concerned about the transition from offline to online.

When we experienced lockdown, the Maple Bear Global team helped the South Asia territory to transit into offline mode seamlessly. This included training of the school administration staff, teachers and parents. To ease the transition, multiple webinars were held for academic and non-academic staff. Several training elements delivered by Canadian trainers and our academic team at the Head office have been critical. Parent orientations, demo classes for them were held by the team to help parents understand how online learning would still conform to our beliefs rather than being just a one sided communication. The sessions combined with regular Digital Marketing support from Maple Bear Head Office helped to spread the message among the parent fraternity about online learning effectiveness.

What would you like to advice the young generation of education enthusiasts who want to venture into the field of an educational franchise business?

The COVID-19 Pandemic outbreak has forced many businesses to close their doors. There has been a significant impact on the education sector, particularly the preschool sector. Lack of expertise may account for this situation.

2020 was a tough time for all preschools in terms of new enrolments, retention of existing students and staff. But with continued support to all our schools, we observed over 45% growth in the enrolments in 2021.

Our advice to all the young generation of education enthusiasts who want to venture into the field of educational franchise business is to partner with brands that provide high standards of global education and continue to support their schools to prepare them for any unprecedented situation in the future.

Brands that will focus on delivering a safe, secure, and stimulating learning environment for children, program development offering high standards of global education, staff development, and providing regular support to their schools will rise to new heights.

Where do you envision Maple Bear to be in the long run, and what are your future goals? How do you plan to embrace the changes happening in the pre-school education franchising space?

Maple Bear is one of the world’s leading Preschool brands with a presence in more than 30 countries, over 550 schools (Preschool, Elementary & High School), and over 40,000 students. We aim to cover more territories worldwide, increasing the number of schools in each territory and growing vertically.

Maple Bear South Asia manages more than 120 schools in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, and we have observed a high number of franchise inquiries during covid. We have signed new franchised agreements in the Covid period as well across the world and we aim to reach 500 schools (Preschools, Elementary & Day care) in the next 5 years in the South Asia market alone. All of our schools are franchised schools, and we seek to partner with people who care about being in the education sector, believe that high standards of global education should be provided to young children, are financially sustainable to invest in the project, and are prepared to adopt one of the best education methodologies in the world designed by Maple Bear.

We offer a scalable business model to our franchisee with multiple programs offering to enhance the ROI and an opportunity to upgrade preschool. All our franchisees get the leverage of our unique training process that is threefold; online, on-site, and with our Canadian team of experts.

Maple Bear’s curriculum and business model empower our franchise and ensure our schools are able to shift to any unprecedented change or situation in the near future.

What is the current industrial scenario of the education space?

As per various reports, the size of the pre-school market was approx. 334.5 ($ million) in 2019-20 and is expected to reach approx. 416.23 ($ million) by 2024. The last two years have been difficult for the pre-school sector wherein we have seen hundreds of preschools have shut down their businesses, and the schools that have survived have seen a lot of dropouts. With the decline in the number of covid cases, offices are open; the demand for preschool services that can handle such situations in the future is increasing.

Exemplifying Leaders

Shalini Jaiswal, Director and COO, has been an educator for more than 20 years. She has been a teacher, administrator, and a consultant for various education companies and helped them develop programs for different age groups. She has a Masters from Mumbai University and a Bachelors in Education from CCS University, Meerut.

Her journey with Maple Bear started with opening her own preschool which happened to be the first worldwide in India. She is a part of the Academic Advisory committee and the curriculum committee of Global Schools. She is responsible for the implementation of the Maple Bear program which includes teacher training and quality assurance in all the Maple Bear schools in South Asia region. She is also responsible for developing and implementing the ECE teacher training program in India.

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