Malaysia’s largest after-school enrichment programme, Kumon Malaysia, plans to open 20 centres over the next two years as part of its expansion strategy to augment its leadership position, bringing to a total of more than 220 centres by 2020.
“In line with our vision to reach out to students throughout Malaysia and continuously create opportunities to promote holistic learning, Kumon Malaysia is embarking on a journey to open more centres to address the growing need for after-school enrichment programmes. While this move paves new business opportunities for us, we strongly believe in uncovering the underlying potential in children, and developing a more confident child that eventually would be workforce-ready,” said Mr Yosuke Sugawa, General Manager of Kumon Malaysia.
Presently with a student database of over 33,000, Kumon’s expansion plans have been progressing steadily with the opening of 4 new centres in Setia Ecohill (Selangor), Subang Bestari (Selangor), Bandar Tasek Mutiara (Penang) and Taman Pelangi (Johor Bahru) towards the end of 2018. Additionally, 2 centres in Bintulu (Sarawak) and Bukit Jalil (Kuala Lumpur) respectively, will open within the first quarter of 2019.
With a track record of over 60 years and presence in over 50 countries and regions, Kumon focuses on helping children achieve their limitless potential through the self-learning method, a method initiated in Japan by an educator Toru Kumon. The self-learning method is an effective way that provides a strong foundation in learning, where students, from as young as four, are able to progress in Mathematics and English to a level that is comfortable (‘just-right level’), and not limited to their school-grade levels.
“For over 60 years, the Kumon philosophy remains unchanged as it remains relevant in most education scenes globally – we believe that every individual is unique and possesses their very own potential. Thus, we as educators strive to nurture our students through the self-learning method, while equipping them with the relevant life skills such as confidence, critical thinking and effective communications. This then sets them on a good path towards building a more adaptive and resilient outlook in preparing them for the challenges ahead,” added Sugawa.
In Malaysia, the Ministry of Education recently highlighted the need to step up and better equip future leaders of the country with necessary skills and inculcation of good values in line with its Look East Policy that was introduced in 1982. The Look East Policy 1 , identified potential in foreign education system in countries such as Japan, especially for the fundamental values it instils that builds a positive character in individuals.
Thus, recognising the importance of nurturing life skills in children from a young age, Kumon strives to not only to assist children in achieving academic excellence, but also for them to develop character building values in their learning journey. Based on Kumon’s learning methodology, children are able to write the answers more quickly,
make fewer mistakes and are able to identify their mistakes themselves and quickly correct them.
A franchise-business model, Kumon believes in guiding prospective franchisees to understand the Kumon Method and the syllabus, preparing them to be the Kumon instructor for their centre of management.
“At Kumon, we expect our franchisees to be hands on in educating their students, and on our part, we ensure that we walk with our franchisees and instructors every step of the way. In fact, before anyone can be a franchise owner with Kumon, they are required to invest time to undergo various orientations and training to be the key instructor for their centre,” added Sugawa.
The Kumon franchise business model ranges requires an average investment of RM70,000 onwards depending on various factors such as location and size of the centre. Kumon also ensures that its franchisees are guided throughout their journey. Each year, various seminars and group knowledge sharing sessions are held as platforms for franchisees who are also Kumon Instructors to connect with one another and share insights and challenges. This franchise model is unique as it ensures every instructor stays abreast on current issues, which in turn, help them prepare their lessons effectively.