KinderWorld International Group: Redefining the Benchmarks of Holistic Education

Would it be possible for the youth of the 21st century to survive without education? What direction would have human evolution taken if not for education? How would have the foundations of language, engineering, healthcare, so on and so forth been laid, if it weren’t for education? Therefore, it is safe to say that education is what inspires, motivates and empowers us to strive for the collective good of the society.

This exhibits the importance of educational institutions that ceaselessly strive to deliver the kind of education which would not only nourish students’ natural intellect but also transform them into proficient and compassionate leaders.

In our constant endeavor to recognize, acknowledge, and appreciate the immense amount of efforts being taken by such institutions, we at The Knowledge Review – keeping in mind the nature of this edition titled The 10 Most Valuable International Education Groups, 2019 – have had the privilege of crossing paths with a few exemplary educational groups and institutions.

One such prominent educational group that we’ve had the opportunity to bring into the spotlight is the KinderWorld International Group (KIG).

The group’s vision is to be a leading through-train education and training provider, right from Preschool to High School, University Foundation, Higher Education and Outdoor Experiential Learning. KIG works towards building a forward-looking education institution that embraces innovative teaching pedagogies in a creative and challenging environment and instituting life-long learning to enable students to reach their fullest potential.

KIG’s first Pre-school was opened in Singapore and since then, it has grown extensively in Vietnam. Today, KIG is the largest owner-operator of foreign-invested international schools business in Vietnam and operates 19 campuses in the country, under the brand names of: Singapore International School (SIS), KinderWorld International Kindergarten (KIK), Singapore Vietnam International School (SVIS), Pegasus International College, and Outward Bound Vietnam. The group also operates schools in Malaysia under the brand name of UniWorld International School and in Thailand under the brand name of SISA (Amata) School.

KIG believes in offering an International curriculum combined with Eastern values that will equip its students with the essential knowledge and skills needed for a technology-driven and globalized world. The group’s holistic approach to education further develops in its student’s desired core values like humility, respect, diligence and a strong sense of service towards the community. Students’ excellent academic achievement reflects KIG’s ability to provide quality education and prepare them for life-long learning and global citizenship.

The Visionary

Mr. Tan Teck Yong, Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer has been at the helm of KIG’s successful journey. Mr. Tan has more than 30 years of accomplished entrepreneurial experience in setting up education centers in ASEAN and China including international partnerships with educational institutions in the United States of America, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

Under his leadership, KIG has undergone rapid expansion in Vietnam, from one International Kindergarten in 2000 to 19 campuses, from Preschool to High school, Higher Education and Outdoor Experiential Learning, accounting for 22.4% to 28.6% market share among K-12 multi-level operators based on market value.

In June 2017, Mr. Tan was awarded the Medal for the Cause of the Capital City Development by the Hanoi People’s Committee for his contributions to the development of Hanoi over the past 18 years through a range of charitable activities and scholarships.

In April 2019, he was also honored with the Best CEO Award (Gold) at The Global Good Governance Awards 2019 by The Pinnacle Group International for his performance-oriented growth, leadership qualities, corporate talent management strategies and commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility practices.

Delivering Excellence

Under KIG’s umbrella, Singapore International School (SIS) offers programs from Preschool to University Foundation Programmes and is committed to continuously ensure the quality of its education programs through well-known accreditation agencies. KIG’s primary school students take the Singapore International Primary School Leaving Examination (iPSLE), while secondary students take the Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) examination.

Students may choose to take the Cambridge International ‘A’ Level or the Global Assessment Certificate (GAC) – University Foundation Programme which provides access to many universities worldwide. The GAC also includes preparation for the American College Test.

Five of SIS schools are fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), one of the six regional accreditation associations in the United States of America. WASC accreditation validates the integrity of school’s programmes and academic transcripts, fosters the ongoing improvement of school programmes or operations and facilitates transfer of credits to other English-speaking schools or leading universities.

Pegasus International College (PIC) was established to provide quality education beyond High School. It offers Vietnamese, ASEAN and International pathways and qualifications in Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts, Business and Commerce and English Language programmes. PIC offers 3-tiered qualifications which are aligned to national requirements – Vietnam Tourism Occupational Standards (VTOS), the regional Common ASEAN Tourism Curriculum (CATC) and the transnational Australia Qualification Framework (AQF) which articulates into undergraduate programmes.

Through agreements between PIC and Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) in the United Kingdom, TAFE New South Wales (TAFE NSW) in Australia and Elmhurst College (America), students who complete the 2 year Advanced Diploma at PIC, are eligible to get into the Bachelor Degree at ENU, TAFE NSW and Elmhurst College.

As part of KinderWorld International Group’s complete holistic approach to education, Outward Bound Vietnam (OBV) was established to develop human potential through experiential learning, while appreciating social, cultural and community differences.

OBV offers a unique programme which fosters interpersonal, leadership, survival skills and instills social and environmental responsibility through unique outdoor activities and adventure-based experiential learning. It has base camps in Quy Nhon (central Vietnam) and Ha Long (north Vietnam), which conducts outdoor experiential education, adventures, team-building exercises, discovery learning and other educational services to local youths, corporate groups and the community at large.

Leveraging on Technology

KIG is of the opinion that education technology allows teachers and students to approach teaching and learning in more creative and interesting ways. In fact, IBIS Capital (UK) projects that the educational technology services market will triple from 2013 to 2020.

The group also states that beyond technology, reports and research papers have shown the positive impact of outdoor learning on childhood development, calling for large-scale implementation of these practices.

KIG lists a few important benefits viz., better recollection of information; active minds and bodies; psychological well-being; developing skills related to experimental thinking, creativity, problem-solving; leadership skills; environmental consciousness.

Developing Students Holistically

Additional to the aforementioned initiatives by KIG, STEM education is also embedded into its curriculum with a focus on problem-based learning activities that engage students in STEM projects such as robotics and coding. This approach also involves students in design thinking and creative problem solving. KIG’s schools also offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities such as public speaking, dance, choir, football, volleyball, swimming etc to provide a holistic education experience for its students.

SIS offers overseas study tours and student exchange programmes for its students through partnerships with various overseas schools. For character building, its students participate in OBV programmes, which is designed to build self-confidence and strengthen leadership skills such as teamwork, perseverance and effective communication.

Striving for Distinction

KinderWorld International Group has been awarded the Golden Dragon Award in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015 as a “Prestigious International School”. The Golden Dragon Awards was initiated by Vietnam Economic Times in cooperation with the Ministry of Planning and Investment since 2001. The Golden Dragon Award acknowledges efficient production activities, respect for business ethics and remarkable contributions to the national economy.

In April 2018, KinderWorld International Group (KIG) was awarded the Bronze Award in the category of Excellence in Provision of Literacy & Education Award (for companies with a market capitalisation of less than USD 1 billion) at The Global CSR Summit & Awards by The Pinnacle Group International. This is Asia’s most prestigious awards programme for CSR, recognising and honouring companies for outstanding, innovative and world-class products, services, projects and programmes implemented.

In November 2018, at the ASEAN Business Awards 2018, KIG won the Singapore Winner of SME Excellence – Growth Award and also emerged as the overall ASEAN Winner of SME Excellence – Growth amongst the respective country winners in this category. The Award was presented by the President of the Republic of Singapore, Madam Halimah Yacob.

KIG’s students have been top-ranked by Cambridge International in Vietnam and globally, in various subjects at the IGCSE and the Cambridge AS/A Levels since 2009. Many of its students have been admitted to well-known overseas universities, such as Boston University, London School of Economics, University of Southampton, University of New South Wales etc.

For 2018, the group was especially proud to have one of its student – Mr. Lee Jong In being conferred two Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards: “Top in the World” for Mathematics and “Best Across” in four AS Level subjects of Mathematics, Physics, Economics and Computer Science.

Projecting Ahead

KIG envisions opening new campuses in Vietnam as well as expand into other parts of South East Asia, China, Australia and Central Asia. It constantly reviews its curriculum, partner with strategic academic partners and create new education pathways for its students. On an organizational level KIG will continue to invest resources to harness technology in order to improve work processes, enhance productivity, and promote efficiency.

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