With 2020 going down in history as the most disruptive year in living memory and with approximately 1.4 billion children worldwide moving from the classroom to on-line education, the challenges not only to traditional schools, teachers and learners but also to those franchise businesses in the childcare, education and training sector, have been momentous.
As schools re-open after months of lockdown, FASA’s social media consultant, Romany Thresher interviewed two education franchises on how they have had to adapt to a new way of running their businesses to remain relevant.
Marisa Van der Merwe, CEO and founder of the MiniChess franchise, who developed her award-winning education and empowerment programme and won the Shoprite/Checkers Woman’s Award in 2012, believes that the pandemic disruption has, in many ways, unlocked the unique capacity of every person and particularly that of children. “The pandemic has shown clearly that children’s capacity to adapt and learn is phenomenal and it is up to initiatives like Mini-Chess who are in the people-empowerment business, to take the lead in changing how children learn and grow and how this trend dove-tails as the 4th Industrial Revolution pans out post-Covid-19.”
The MiniChess educational programme harnesses the capacity of children from as young as four years old and focuses on developing their human capacity to be creative, solution-driven, giving strategic purpose through motivation and support. MiniChess makes use of play innovation as the basis to learn new skills, have courage to explore, learn and take risks. “In the past,” says Marisa Van der Merwe, “the teacher was the main source of education – today that has changed. Whilst structure may be given through formal schooling, knowledge today is found outside the classroom. The key is to close the gap between traditional schooling and what children can achieve through supporting them in new ways of learning.”
Mini-Chess has adapted their different training structures to empower entrepreneurs to work effectively, both hands-on and on-line, through strong support of the diverse communities of schools, teachers, parents and children that they service.
Dirk Cilliers, CEO & Founder of Monkeynastix, believes that the franchise format of their business allowed the group to pull together in tackling the challenges facing them with Covid-19. “Calm instead of chaos was our first response,” says Dirk. “We needed to, as a group, have clarity as to what we were facing, gather as much information on the situation as possible in order to make decisions, plan and move forward.”
That meant gathering information from the Department of Education, engaging with franchisees and doing surveys with schools and parents. Finding out that in June almost half of the nursery schools were not going to open again and 50% of parents were not intending to send their children back to school drove their forward planning.
As Monkeynastix‘s winning system is centred around movement, balance and perception, it was important to convince parents that keeping their children fit and healthy, both mentally and physically during the lockdown, was crucial to their well-being. To that end, the group introduced zoom sessions, produced videos and adapted their programme to accommodate the new normal.
The silver lining to the pandemic for Monkeynastix is that they were able to become more information-centred, more flexible and define their clear purpose going forward. That meant introducing new franchise packages on-line – from adapting their Monkeynastix programme to launching their Babynastix, NannyNastix and CyberNastix franchise opportunities for entrepreneurs from around the world.
For more information on these FASA members and other franchise opportunities visit FASA
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