Canadian education sweeps the Balkans
The Canadian Maple Bear education system, which incorporates the best practices and methods of the Canadian bilingual education, is found in 24 countries across the world. The company operates several educational institutional in Central and Eastern Europe. They can be found in Bulgaria, Romania and Albania, and as of September 2021, the first Maple Bear preschool was opened in Serbia.
Ljiljana Nikolova, is a Maple Bear franchisee from Sofia, Bulgaria. She joined the franchise network in 2020. We asked Ljiljana about her experience with the Canadian educational company.
You opened both a kindergarten and primary school in Sofia. Why did you decide to buy a franchise with Maple Bear?
To succeed, you need to trust your partner and make sure that the proposed business model is proven and works in different countries and cultures. The Canadian network of Maple Bear schools is an example of a successful education system. It has proven results and manages to develop a highly functional model of education, no matter in which country or culture it is present.
What steps should a franchisee take before opening a Maple Bear school?
Maple Bear carefully selects its partners because they too want to maintain a high level of quality and be sure that their bilingual teaching system will be implemented flawlessly. However, the procedure itself is relatively simple. I contacted the Maple Bear CEE team through their specialized website www.ownamaplebearschool.ca . We first discussed the scope of our project in Sofia, and after signing the contract we started the process of joining and integrating our institutions into the Maple Bear global network. Academic support was provided by teams from Canada - around 200 instructors and 50 developers - while the regional team provided us with all the necessary operational and marketing support.
The support we receive, and will be able to count on throughout this journey is the key to working with the franchise and explains Maple Bear's worldwide success.
What do you think attracts parents and students to this particular educational system?
There are several factors involved, but I will single out three that I believe are extremely important. First, parents are looking for a new teaching methodology and a new approach in the process of transferring and acquiring knowledge. They want their children to be proactive, think critically and solve problems. Maple Bear's curriculum provides all of this, as learning makes sense and teachers encourage the hands-on process of assimilating new information. The second thing is full "immersion" in the English language. However, anyone considering Maple Bear should know that we are not an English language school, but rather an English-taught school. The last factor is the fact that Maple Bear is also a local school, because teaching in our mother tongue is just as important to us as it is in English.
Maple Bear trains the teachers that work in the school. How does the training work and what does it cover?
I really like the training program at Maple Bear. Not only was initial training important to our teaching team, but so was the fact that they could count on ongoing training and supervision. This approach gives us the opportunity to share experiences, ask questions and understand each teaching outcome, strategy and results. This, on the one hand, gives structure; on the other hand, freedom in the development of curricula. Thanks to the continuous improvement, training and support of the academic team from Canada, our lecturers advance professionally, and students have the opportunity to gain knowledge using the latest methods and strategies of education.
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