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Education systems across the globe faced a strong headwind two years ago when the COVID-19 pandemic stunned the entire world” – writes Mr. Anirban Bhattacharya, Associate Vice President – Partner Schools, Seth Anandram Jaipuria Group of Schools, as he pens a piece on How School Franchising Can Help To Reduce Impact Of COVID-19 On Education.

Anirban Bhattacharya is working as the Associate Vice President – Partner Schools with Seth Anandram Jaipuria Group. He is currently spearheading the complete operations and expansion of Franchise schools across pan India. Anirban has more than 18 years of experience in the education sector in various domains and capacities. In the past, he played an important role in setting up K12 Schools in North India and the Higher Education initiative wherein he was instrumental to set up colleges in pan India. He has been associated with some reputed education organizations in the past. He has also helped many students in achieving their goals and creating an aspirational future by being an expert career counselor throughout. His edu-perineurial stint with various education companies equipped him with hands-on knowledge about start-ups and an intrinsic understanding of various business models.

Education systems across the globe faced a strong headwind two years ago when the COVID-19 pandemic stunned the entire world. It forced educational institutions to shift from offline to online modes of teaching, which was the best possible solution at that time to ensure that children do not miss out on schooling. But the practice had its perils. Now, as we recover from the pandemic, the focus is on bridging the learning gaps by providing quality education. School franchising seems like one of the possible solutions to this end. 

During the lockdown, virtual or online learning systems became a common practice. It helped students continue with their education, without missing the school year. Other than that, it was not quite beneficial. In a country like India, where the majority of the population resides in rural areas, virtual learning led to severe learning loss and inequalities in education. As per a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report, lockdown affected about 250 million students from preschool through high school. The data collected during the pandemic in collaboration with NITI Aayog indicates that about 60% of the students either lacked the necessary equipment or infrastructure to access the digital lessons. Besides, lack of human contact also affected their social and emotional learning, necessary skills required to excel in all spheres of life. 

Now that the situation has improved, it is time to divert attention to the education of the kids and make up for the learning gaps. It can be achieved through assessments, inclusive learning, high-class education, skill development sessions, and workshops, provided by qualified professionals and trusted names in the education sector of the country. Particularly in tier 2 and tier 3 cities, reputed school franchising can play a pivotal role in providing quality education to kids and securing their future.  

Schools offering franchises can help to provide better education because they keep re-inventing their learning model and updating it as per the changing trends and needs of the students. Rather than just focusing on classroom teaching, they emphasize equally the practical aspects of learning through project-based learning and incorporating 21st skills in the curriculum. Such practices help kids understand the concepts and prepare them for the future. Moreover, they improve critical thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving skills.  Further, teachers also get need-based training which helps them immensely in improving the teaching styles under the directives of NEP. 

From the business point of view, setting up a franchise school is much easier than opening a new school. It is cost-effective and feasible. Besides, the time-tested business and education model of a renowned educational institution minimizes the future risks for the franchisee. The school franchisor provides a host of services to the franchisee, making it easy to launch a new school. From infrastructure and skilled professionals to CBSE affiliation to curriculum design, it makes the entire process of setting up a new school easy. 

Even for the franchisee, associating with a renowned brand can reduce the financial burden. It is a preferred business model for the franchiser who wants to grow rapidly.  Opting for school franchising is beneficial from business as well as educational viewpoints. It is a win-win situation and an excellent option to overcome learning loss caused due to pandemic. The cause of education will benefit immensely by endorsing the school franchising model more extensively.