KinderWorld continues to lead global top-quality education

November 19, 2019 | 11:14
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Singapore’s educational developer KinderWorld International Group has been growing from strength to strength in Vietnam. The firm’s chairman Ricky Tan shares with VIR the achievements and contributions in adapting the global education trends to Vietnam in 2019.
kinderworld continues to lead global top quality education

What would you say have been the group’s major achievements in 2019?

kinderworld continues to lead global top quality education
Ricky Tan

This year, KinderWorld gained a lot of prestigious awards marking our significant achievements in Vietnam’s education development.

In August, thanks to its activities regarding corporate social responsibility (CSR), KinderWorld Vietnam was honoured with the CSR Award by Hanoi People’s Committee. As the largest operator of international schools in Vietnam, KinderWorld has been recognised for its effort in offering quality education opportunities to children from underprivileged socio-economic backgrounds.

A few months prior, I was honoured with the Best CEO Award during the 11th Global CSR Summit and Awards by Pinnacle Group for the group’s development and CSR efforts to the community. To date, our group has offered thousands of annual scholarships and sponsorships, as well as donations to underprivileged people, young ­talents and the professional community.

Also, KinderWorld was presented this year with the Compliance to Tax Regulation and Policy Award from the Hanoi Tax Department. In 2018, KinderWorld’s tax compliance saw a 25 per cent increase on-year.

This award is a valuable recognition of KinderWorld’s strong corporate governance as well as best practices in tax accounting. Furthermore, the start of this school year at Singapore International School in Danang has seen the expansion of a new school block with facilities like computer rooms, art room, a library, science laboratories, and a large multipurpose hall. To promote STEM education, the school has a newly-fitted MakerSpace, which is specially designed to facilitate optimal teaching and provide an advanced learning environment for our students.

What can you attribute to the success of KinderWorld’s school format?

Next year, KinderWorld will celebrate its 20th anniversary in Vietnam. We have expanded our footprint in the country and now operate various campuses from pre-nursery to university foundation, vocational and higher education, as well as outdoor experiential learning across nine cities.

To educate our students to be global citizens, we emphasise soft skills and social abilities to prepare them to be future ready. Overseas study tours, Outward Bound Vietnam experiential outdoor learning courses, and STEM education are incorporated into the curriculum to broaden the learning outcomes of our students. Our teaching staff, the strong and experienced management team, and close partnerships with leading academic partners and localities have contributed to improving the learning standards and quality in our schools.

How does KinderWorld maintain its leading position?

First, I want to highlight the accreditations and standards. Besides our “through-train” model and well-recognised Singaporean curriculum, we are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, one of the six accrediting agencies in the United States for the accreditation of public and private universities, schools, and colleges. Singapore International School curriculum is based on internationally-recognised benchmarks such as the International Primary School Examination, Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), Cambridge AS/A Level, and Global Assessment Certificate Programme.

The second measurement is KinderWorld’s teaching model. Our group has developed the KinderWorld Teaching Model to provide our teachers with a framework that strives to help students move from being dependent, passive learners to independent, active learners by equipping them with academic knowledge, learning skills, and competencies to be globally successful. This is where classroom instruction develops from a teacher-centred environment to a student-centred collaborative process with a focus on independent practice.

Third, we are heartened to be able to produce top students in Cambridge International Examinations, in Vietnam, and in the world at both IGCSE and Cambridge AS/A Levels.

For example, we are extremely proud of our student Lee Jong In from Singapore International School at Gamuda Gardens in Hanoi, who did exceptionally well for this year’s Cambridge A-Level examinations. He was named Top in Vietnam for his score of 99 per cent in A Level Mathematics and received an additional High Achievement award for Economics. Last year, In was also the recipient of the Top in the World award for his perfect score of 100 per cent in AS Level Mathematics. After studying at Singapore International School for seven years, In was accepted to Seoul National University, majoring in Computer Science.

Similarly, we are glad to extend our congratulations to Ngo Hoai Anh, a IGCSE 2A student from the same school, who was also awarded the Top in the World award for having attained a perfect score of 100 per cent for IGCSE Mathematics

Upon graduation, many of our students gain admissions to well-known overseas universities in the US, the UK, and Australia.

kinderworld continues to lead global top quality education
Singapore International School’s Danang campus, featuring a new block (left)

What do you think of the general ­investment environment in Vietnam?

A recent decree has seen a significant relaxation of regulations from former limitations. This has benefitted the overall educational environment. As such, there is a notable increase in demand for quality education, leading to increased student enrolment numbers. This change presents Vietnamese parents with more choice in terms of selecting a school for their children.

It is forecasted that bilingual international schools in the mid-market outside Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will experience significant growth in the next few years. This presents the increasing competition between international private schools and state-owned schools, improving the overall quality of education.

We see that the general investment environment in Vietnam is drawing much attention. The healthy economic growth at 5-7 per cent, the low unemployment rate at about 3.4 per cent in 2018, an average 6.5 per cent increase in minimum wage in 2018, and further increases in the minimum wage proposed for 2019-2020 are expected to result in higher wages overall. This data suggests that a growing middle-class population in Vietnam will lead to higher future demand and consumption of non-necessity items and services, such as quality education.

Could you share some information about the group’s proposed CSR ­activities in 2020?

KinderWorld promotes a strong sense of community, not only in our schools but also in the wider community in which it operates. Since our establishment in Vietnam, we have contributed nearly $1 million through charity events, competition sponsorships, scholarships, and numerous initiatives. Our students are encouraged to participate in annual charitable activities such as the annual Christmas Fair and the Nights of the Arts which form an integral part of the school curriculum. Funds raised through these activities support charities like Operation Smile which provides reconstructive facial surgery to children born with cleft lips, facial deformities, and the Thuy An Rehabilitation Centre for handicapped children.

Since 2013, as the Gold Sponsor for the Swing for the Kids we have awarded scholarships, called Dreams to Reality and worth $160,000, to more than 200 students who have benefited from training courses at Pegasus International College, our professional training branch, and Outward Bound Vietnam.

KinderWorld will continue to offer a range of scholarships towards the sustainable ­development of human ­resources by offering training courses in English language competency, tourism management, food and beverages, and culinary arts to underprivileged students, local officers of ­respective authorities, ­representatives from hotels with the ­desire to succeed in this industry.

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