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A new approach to education

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Singapore International School students in a Science class.

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Graduates of the Singapore International School at Saigon South, Ho Chi Minh City.

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Singapore International School at Gamuda Gardens in Hanoi.

KinderWorld International Group's efforts in providing quality education to school-going children in Vietnam has been recognised at the Asean Business Awards 2018.

It won the Singapore Winner of the SME Excellence - Growth award, which will be presented at a gala dinner event this evening at the Asian Business Summit, held in conjunction with the Asean heads of government annual meeting in Singapore.

The major business owner-operator of foreign invested international schools in Vietnam has a 22.4 per cent to 28.6 per cent market share among multi-level operators based on market value. Since the incorporation of its subsidiary in 2001, it has expanded its footprint in the country, operating 15 schools across Vietnam in cities such as Hanoi, Danang and Ho Chi Minh City.

"We believe that our strengths include our effective management and staff, and a robust business model supported by a diverse, well known and high-quality curriculum," says Mr Ricky Tan Teck Yong, chairman and chief executive officer of KinderWorld International Group.

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Keeping a competitive edge

Having operated in Vietnam since 2000, KinderWorld provides education services for students from 18 months to 18 years old through three main brand names - KinderWorld International Kindergarten, Singapore International School and Singapore Vietnam International School.

Its International Programme, Integrated Programme and Premium Vietnamese Education Programme provide different certifications. Catering to the needs of different students gives it a distinct competitive edge.

Mr Tan says KinderWorld's through-train model and recognised international curriculum at a competitive price differentiates it from other schools.

It is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, which is one of the six accrediting agencies in the United States of America for public and private universities, schools and colleges.

KinderWorld's curriculum is based on internationally recognised benchmarks such as the Cambridge IGCSE, Cambridge AS/A Level, and a university preparation programme that helps students to develop their skills to gain admission to colleges and universities conducting studies in English.

Overseas study tours, experiential outdoor learning courses and elements of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) incorporated into the curriculum offer students a holistic education.

"We provide various pathways to attain university qualifications through our programmes and cater to a broad base of international and local students," says Mr Tan.

Growing to meet demand

On the company's growth plans, Mr Tan hopes to expand the business in the major cities of Vietnam as well as into new geographical markets like China and other Asean countries.

"A franchise model which focuses on our pre-school level is being developed. We will also continuously review our curriculum, develop new education pathways and collaborate with other educational institutions and universities to target a wider group of prospective students."

Mr Tan sees potential growth of the international school business as the middle class is estimated to account for 55 per cent of Asean's nearly 640 million-strong populations in 2020.

"The number of international schools in Vietnam has increased over the years, between 100 to 120 in 2017. The numbers in South-east Asia have also grown over the past few years.

"We see opportunities in business growth and investment with the growing aspirations of the Vietnamese middle class and an increasing demand from Vietnamese parents for their children to receive an international education that will open up career opportunities," he adds.

KinderWorld has been awarded the Golden Dragon Awards five times from 2008 to 2015 by the Vietnam Economic Times as a "Prestigious International School". It also received the Bronze Award in the category of Excellence in Provision of Literacy & Education Award (Companies with market capitalisation of less than US$1 billion), at the 10th Global CSR Summit & Awards 2018 by The Pinnacle Group International.