According to research, almost 60% of the world’s population is online. We see people staring at screens without being aware of their surroundings. Teens texting on their phones instead of chatting with their peers. In this increasingly digitalised world, going digital is no longer a buzzword. It is a necessity. If you’re operating an education centre and are still managing your workflow manually, how do you prevent yourself from falling behind?
As a tuition centre owner himself, our founder, Darren, realised a few years ago that the old way of filing papers and updating Excel sheets is no longer a viable solution. In order to thrive, we needed a better system. That’s why he came up with AOneSchools – a management system that streamlines administrative tasks for education centres. Back then, switching to a completely new way of doing things was nerve-wracking, to say the least. We did not have many precedents to refer to, and resources were scarce. Developing a brand new software and convincing other centres to give it a go was a daunting experience. However, in the past couple of years, other industries have started catching up. More and more digital solutions have popped up in our country, and now, we are proud to see that even the government is starting to realize the need to make a change.
In Malaysia’s 2020 Budget presentation, the Ministry of Finance announced that it will provide a new grant initiative, to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country adopt more electronic solutions in their operations. They called it the SME Digitalisation Initiative.
What is the SME Digitalisation Initiative?
As mentioned above, the Malaysian government is hoping to encourage local companies to incorporate modern technology to manage their businesses. The SME Digitalisation Initiative is a grant to give these enterprises a boost. A 50% matching grant of up to RM5,000 per company will be awarded to eligible businesses that purchase digital service(s) from designated provider(s). For example, as a music school owner, you’ve decided to subscribe to an electronic point-of-sale software for RM8,000. With this grant, you can get up to RM4,000 of the fees subsidized by the government. This allows you to upgrade your operations without taking on too much financial risk. No fees are required for the application, and the grant will be valid for a period of 5 years beginning from February 17 2020, or upon reaching 100,000 applicants, whichever comes first.
What can you purchase with this grant?
The Ministry of Finance has identified 7 types of services that the SME digitalisation grant can be used for:
Electronic Point-of-Sale System (e-POS)
Human Resource (HR) Payroll System / Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System
Digital Marketing / Sales
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) / Accounting and Taxation
Remote Working Solutions
Electronic Point-of-Sale System (e-POS):
An electronic point-of-sale system, or e-POS, is a software that can help companies manage sales and cashflow data efficiently. One of the biggest time drains for education centre owners, whether it be tuition centres, sports academies, or art schools; is having to deal with billing and cash management. Having to track each student’s enrolment, fee information, and payment method; not to mention tracing fees collected through online banking to match them to the right payees… these tasks can make even the most organised person want to pull their hair out. One of the most rewarding feelings of being an educator is being able to watch students learn and grow under your tutelage, but even the most passionate of teachers can feel like drowning at times when dealing with financial paperwork.
At AOne, we recognised this problem early on, and strove to develop a solution for it. With our software, you can rest easy knowing that invoices are being generated automatically to students, based on the packages that you offer. There is even an in-app payment feature available, so you won’t have to process payments every month – or worse still, go through a pile of cash deposit and bank-in slips to figure out which students they came from. When customers make payments through your app, their receipts will be issued automatically, allowing you to sit back and enjoy your freed-up time doing things you love.
2. Human Resource (HR) Payroll System / Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System:
To operate an education centre, you not only have to manage your students, but also the teachers that you employ. If you think organizing student data is hard, try tracking teacher payroll. Going through attendance records, calculating employee hours, totalling payment amounts – these could easily take up days of an administrator’s time. That is time that could be better used for marketing your business, preparing for lessons, and thinking up ways to better serve your students. If you employ many teachers and need a solution for this tedious process, consider getting a software that simplifies it for you.
3. Digital Marketing / Sales:
A business without customers is just a hobby. A good digital marketing service provides solutions for you to promote your school to a wide range of students, and helps you manage advertisements effectively.
Procurement software offers a more competent system for businesses to purchase and sell supplies. This includes sourcing suppliers, corresponding with them, and performing transactions through the internet.
5. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) / Accounting and Taxation:
As Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.” As enterprise owners ourselves, we know that doing taxes can be the death of us. Accounting used to involve calculators and lengthy ledgers; but if you’re still doing that, it’s time to level up. An accounting software can help educators manage their books efficiently, which makes filing taxes a lot easier as well.
What about ERP? ERP, or enterprise resource planning, is software that can handle multiple functions within an operation, such as product planning, development and manufacturing, warehouse management, financial management, sales and marketing etc – all in a single system.
Since most enterprises have their own operating systems, ERPs are often customised to suit each business’s needs.
6. Remote Working Solutions:
Since the announcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO), citizens have grown used to the new normal of working from home. While challenging to adapt to at first, remote work has gradually become a regularity in our lives. A good number of AOne’s clients switched to online teaching during the MCO period, and many mentioned that it was a tough transition. For companies used to offline operations, having to pivot online in such a short time can be extremely difficult. Therefore, the government included remote working solutions, such as software that enables effective data exchange and communication between remote staff, in the SME Digitalisation Initiative to ease the process.
Even before COVID-19 hit, e-commerce has taken the world by storm. Pioneers like Amazon and eBay have shown us how easily goods can be purchased with a few clicks of a button. With their success, other businesses have followed suit, whether it be clothing retailers, consumer goods manufacturers, even food services. Now, with stringent rules on social distancing, the ability to buy goods online has become an integral part of our lives. E-commerce digitalisation services allow SMEs to use technology to sell their products online, while providing them assistance in fulfilment, marketing, and other activities.
What are the companies affiliated with this grant?
Keep in mind that only the SME is authorised to complete and submit the application documents. Appointment of any third party for collection and submission to the bank is not allowed.
Before applying for the grant, you will need to pay the price after deducting the subsidised amount from the grant to your service provider(s), and submit proof of payment to the bank.
When your application is approved, BSN will make a direct payment of 50% of the total invoice amount, or up to RM5,000, to your appointed service provider(s). Depending on the total invoice amount, this payment may be made in one lump sum or in stages, based on the bank’s discretion.
Digitalisation is a process that all businesses have to embrace in order to thrive. Here at AOne Schools, we strive to support you in your efforts to do so, by providing solutions and resources that can help you grow. If you are interested in finding out how we can assist you, please feel free to contact us or schedule a demo.
It’s time to leave the days of manual paperwork behind, and start using a more elegant system for your education business.
Untuk fasa keempat Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan (PKP), kerajaan Malaysia telah memilih untuk membaik pulih keadaan negara dengan menjana rangsangan ekonomi meskipun wabak COVID-19 masih lagi aktif di dalam negara kita. Oleh sebab itu, kerajaan telahpun memberi peluang terutamanya perniagaan-perniagaan termasuk dalam sektor pendidikan untuk beroperasi seperti sedia kala secara berperingkat dan harus mengikut prosedur operasi standard (SOP) yang disediakan oleh kerajaan nanti.
Baru-baru ini, Perdana Menteri Malaysia, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin telahpun membuat pengumuman tentang pelancaran Pelan Pemulihan Ekonomi Jangka Pendek (PENJANA). Intipati yang dinyatakan di dalam pelan tersebut adalah seperti berikut:
Subsidi Penjagaan Anak (sehingga RM5,000)
Pemberian subsidi ini oleh kerajaan adalah untuk mengurangkan perbelanjaan keluarga yang berkerjaya dan menghantar anak-anak mereka ke pusat asuhan. Subsidi ini termasuk pemberian eBaucar sebanyak RM800 untuk pengasuh mobil yang boleh digunakan sehingga akhir bulan Ogos 2020. Bukan itu sahaja, kenaikkan perlepasan cukai untuk ibubapa yang berkerjaya melalui perbelanjaan anak dari RM2,000 sehingga RM3,000 bagi tahunan 2020 dan 2021.
Selain itu, pusat asuhan juga akan mendapat prosedur operasi standard (SOP) kesihatan oleh kerajaan yang harus diikuti. Akan tetapi, inisiatif ini masih belum dijelaskan secara terperinci. Sila rujuk ke laman web http://ezi2care.jkm.gov.my/ untuk informasi yang terkini.
2.50% Geran Digital untuk Pusat Pendidikan (sehingga RM5,000)
Salah satu inisiatif yang dibentangkan dalam Bajet 2020 yang lalu adalah pemberian geran digital kepada perusahaan kecil dan sederhana (SME) demi menjana proses pendigitalan dalam perniagaan dan inovasi. Dengan geran ini, syarikat yang layak akan mendapat 50% subsidi oleh kerajaan dengan jumlah maksimum RM5,000. Akan tetapi, geran ini sangatlah terhad.
Pengurus syarikat haruslah menaik tarafkan proses pendigitalan di dalam pengurusan syarikat terutama sekali untuk mengurangkan sentuhan sesama manusia terutamanya pada waktu pandemik COVID-19 sekarang.
Bagi pusat pendidikan pula, benda yang paling penting buat masa sekarang adalah untuk menggunakan sistem pengurusan secara digital. Ini adalah untuk memudahkan pengurusan operasi pusat tersebut dan pada masa yang sama dapat menjaga kesihatan antara satu sama lain. Oleh itu, dengan pengunaan sistem pengurusan AOneSchools, anda boleh mengeluarkan resit digital (e-receipt) yang akan dihantar secara automatik kepada ibubapa pelajar, dan pada masa yang sama pusat pendidikan dapat memantau kutipan bayaran yuran bulanan pelajar. Selain daripada itu, sistem ini juga dapat membantu para guru untuk melaporkan suhu badan pelajar di sekolah yang akan terus dinotifikasikan ke telefon ibubapa.
Di sini adalah langkah-langkah yang harus dilakukan untuk pembukaan semula pusat anda secara effisyen.
AOne telah dipilih sebagai salah satu vendor untuk geran pendigitalan perusahaan kecil dan sederhana (SME). Oleh demikian, pusat pendidikan yang layak boleh memohon untuk sistem pengurusan AOne dan pengimbas haba (thermal scanner) dengan separuh harga daripada harga asal! Anda boleh semak kelayakan anda di sini: http://aonepayschool.wasap.my
3. Pinjaman Perniagaan dengan Kadar Faedah yang Rendah
Selain daripada pinjaman-peinjaman yang telah dibincangkan di artikel yang lepas, berikut adalah pinjaman yang ditawarkan sekiranya anda perlukan bantuan dari segi kewangan untuk perniagaan pendidikan (education business) anda.
Tip utama: Pastikan perniagaan anda mempunya cashflow yang mencukupi untuk membayar pinjaman yang diambil.
PENJANA SME Financing (PSF)
Tekun Nasional dan BSN
Bumiputera Relief Financing
RM 100,000 ke RM 1 juta
3.5% (Moratorium sehingga 6 bulan selepas ‘disbursement’ )
4. Pengecualian Cukai untuk Alat Skan Suhu (Thermal Scanner) dan Perbelanjaan Lain berkaitan COVID-19
Demi memastikan perniagaan yang ada di dalam negara mematuhi norma baharu serta mengikut SOP yang disediakan, kerajaan Malaysia telahpun memanjangkan tempoh dan meluaskan skop perbelanjaan yang berkait rapat dengan keselamatan orang ramai demi mencegah wabak COVID-19. Salah satu perbelanjaan tersebut adalah ujian kit COVID-19 dan Thermal Scanner.
KANAK-KANAK YANG BERUMUR BAWAH 12 TAHUN
BERSIKO TINGGI UNTUK DIJANGKITI!
Dapatkan suhu badan pelajar-pelajar anda sebelum mereka masuk ke dalam kelas!
Sebelum ini, telahpun dibentangkan untuk program ini, upah subsidi berjumlah RM1,200 akan dibayar kepada pekerja yang berkerja di bawah majikan yang memperoleh pendapatan RM4,000 dan ke bawah dalam jangka 3 bulan. Dan baru-baru ini, kerajaan telah mengeluarkan pengumuman di mana program subsidi upah ini akan dilanjutkan lagi 3 bulan mulai Jun sehingga September. Akan tetapi, kali ini jumlah subsidi untuk pekerja akan dikurangkan ke RM600 sahaja.
Tambahan itu, kerajaan juga akan memperkenalkan Program Insentif Pengambilan Pekerja di mana selama 6 bulan, syarikat-syarikat yang mempunyai penganggur berumur di bawah 40 tahun akan mendapat bantuan sebanyak RM800 sebulan bagi setiap pekerja. Manakala, RM1,000 pula akan diberi kepada pengaanggur yang berumur 40 tahun dan keatas dan golongan OKU.
Subsidi upah ini akan dikreditkan ke akaun bank majikan dalam masa 7 hingga 14 hari mulai dari tarikh kelulusan. Anda boleh membuat permohonon di prihatin.perkeso.gov.my
In the fourth stage of Movement Control Order (MCO), the Malaysian Government is focusing on the recovery and economic stimulus of the country while continuing to battle the invisible war that is COVID-19. Having that said, most businesses including the education sector are now slowly allowed to operate with condition that they adhere to the strict SOP and guidelines provided by the respective ministries.
At the point of writing, only the guidelines for the operations of Childcare centres (Taska) have been published and this can be found here. While waiting for the more detailed S.O.P from the Government, have a look on an article we previously published on 6 Guidelines for the New Normal of Offline Classes
In the latest announcement by our Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin unveiled a host of measures in the government’s Short-Term Economic Recovery Plan. Here are some of the points that may benefit you.
Child Care Subsidy (up to RM5,000)
Under this newly introduced subsidy, the Government is subsiding childcare expenses to support working parents. Firstly, disbursement of e-vouchers of RM800 per household for mobile childcare services that can be used from now until end of August 2020. Secondly, increase in income tax relief for parents on childcare services expenses from RM2,000 to RM3,000 for YA2020 and YA2021.
Furthermore, childcare centres that are registered with the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development will also receive a one-off grant of up to RM5,000 to help them comply with the new healthcare SOPs. At the point of writing, details on the execution of these initiatives are still scarce. Keep updated with the official website at: http://ezi2care.jkm.gov.my/
2.50% Digitalization Grant for Learning Centres (up to RM5,000)
In the Budget 2020 Initiative, the SME Digitalization Grant was introduced to encourage SMEs in Malaysia to adopt measures of digitalization and technological automation. Under this Grant, eligible companies will receive 50% subsidy of the total cost up to RM5,000. Get to know more about this limited grant.
Especially during this pandemic period, companies need to speed up their digitalisation process in reducing human contact. Digitalisation is now not a choice anymore but a need to ensure continuity of businesses for a long period.
For an education centre, the most crucial digitalization adoption is a management system where you can reduce all your daily operational tasks while continue keeping safe. With AOneSchools Management System, you can issue e-receipt to parents while constantly keeping track of student fee payment. Another feature of this system also allows the teachers to update students’ temperature before they enter class, and this is notified to parents in real-time.
Here are other steps on how you can manage your centre more efficiently after reopening.
AOne was appointed as one of the vendor under the SME Digitalization Grant and this means that eligible learning centres can apply for the management system and thermal scanner at only half the price! Check if you are eligible: http://aonepayschool.wasap.my
3. Business Loans with Low Interest Rates
In addition to all the loans mentioned in the previous article, here is a list of available loans that you may want to consider ensuring the sustainability of your education business.
Pro-tip: just make sure that your business’ monthly cashflow can cover the repayment of the loan.
PENJANA SME Financing (PSF)
Up to RM500,000
Up to RM50,000
Tekun Nasional and BSN
Bumiputera Relief Financing
RM 100,000 to RM 1 million
3.5% (Moratorium of up to 6 months from disbursement)
4. Tax Relief on Thermal Scanners and COVID-19 Related Expenses
In order to encourage businesses to adapt to new norms and adhere to strict SOPs, the Government has extended the period and expanded the scope of expenses allowed as tax deduction or capital allowance for COVID-19’s prevention including COVID-19 Testing and the Purchase of PPE or thermal scanners.
CHILDREN BELOW 12 YEARS ARE OF HIGHER RISK IN GETTING INFECTED!
Previously, it was announced that through the programme, wage subsidies of RM1,200 are paid to employers for each local employee earning RM4,000* and below for a period of 3 months only. In the most recent announcement, the PM has extended this subsidy programme for another 3 months until the end of September. However this time, eligible employers will only receive wage subsidies of RM600 per month per employee
In addition to this, the Government has also introduced the Employee Recruitment Incentive Programme whereby companies that hire the unemployed group aged below 40 will receive RM800 per month per worker for a period of 6 months. For companies that hire aged 40 and above as well as disabled persons, the companies will receive RM1,000.
The wage subsidy will be credited to the employer’s account within 7 to 14 days of the date of approval. You may make the application online at prihatin.perkeso.gov.my
However, we also have to take into consideration on the safety of our students, teachers and ourselves if we decide to operate our learning centres in this uncertain times. We also need to spend sometime to prepare our centres following the latest SOP rolled out by the Government. Has your centre been disinfected? There are a number of parties mentioning that childcare centres are not expected to open for about another month as operators have to undertake a series of stringent precautionary measures before they can resume operation.
We will resume the operation of our learning centres sooner or later. However, we should start preparing and be ready right now. Here are some suggested guidelines that the AOne team has prepared for you!
(1) Body Temperature Scanning for Everyone
Make it compulsory to measure body temperature of all students, teachers, parents, business owners and anyone who comes to your centre. Looking for a non-contact infrared thermometer? Do let us know by filling the form at the end of article if you need one!
(2) Regular Usage of Hand Sanitiser
You should provide hand sanitiser for students or anyone before they come in the centre. Place it at the counter and classrooms wherever that is convenient for everyone to use. As a good practice, you should always sanitise the tables and chairs after each class.
(3) Use of Face Masks
Make it compulsory for students and teachers to wear masks. As a business owner, we too should be setting an example for them. Prepare more masks for standby in case some students do not bring maks when they come for classes.
As #AOneJagaCentre, if you need any help in sourcing the necessary items and services, do fill up the form below and we will see how can we help:
(4) Seating Arrangement 1 Meter Apart
You may arrange one table for one student with at least 1 meter between students. Minimise the contact between students, and maintain the size of class to a maximum of 4-6 students .(*depending on the size of your classroom.)
(5) Social Distancing
We know it’s hard to keep “social distancing” among those naughty students, but you can do it by marking some lines and “personal space” allowed for each student. Give the awareness to the students on the importance of social distancing. Meanwhile, educate all teachers within your centre to follow the social distancing even outside of centres. Encourage “take away” food rather than dine-in. Minimise the contacts with other people and stay at home when there is no urgent errands to run.
(6) No Waiting for Parents In The Centre
You may need to add a new policy that states that non-students are not allowed to be waiting in the centre to minimise the risk of infection. Parents, drivers, maids etc should pick up and drop off students only. Encourage parents to come and pick up right away after the class. Discourage students to wait in the centre.
For payment related matters, you may encourage online banking (paperless + contactless) OR implement in-app payment using AOneSchools mobile apps for Parents. We will implement auto-billing for lesson fee collection in May 2020.
WHY should you go for e-receipts and in-app payment now?
Parents, students, teachers, admin and business owners can avoid touching paper receipts, cash
Automated and easier way of collecting and tracking of lesson fees
Cashless and contactless payment
Reduced contact between parents and staff
The government has announced the SME Digitalisation Grant (up to RM 5,000) for all learning or education centres to adopt any digitalization measures. No matter if you are running a tuition centre, kindergarten, dance school, swimming school, music school or any kind of learning centre, you will be eligible for the claim!
You may fill in the form below if you wish to know more about the grant
Do comment below if you have any suggestion or practice that may share to us. Stay safe everyone!
KIROTECH Robotics & STEM Education
Centre is an institution established in 2014 by a group of educationist &
industrial specialist to provide exposure to the concept of innovation through
KIROTECH fully owned by Kiroboot
Technology Sdn. Bhd.
We have joint experience of 16
years experience in conducting Robotics & Coding Education from preschool
specialized in Robotics, Coding, Arduino, Drone, App/Game
Development courses for kids from age 6 years old – 17 years old.
conduct special trainings for school teachers to familiarize the concept of
Robotics & Coding in schools.
Since year 2014, more than 24,000
students, parents and teachers have attended KIROTECH programs nationwide.
is an affiliated partner and approved STEM Education training provider of
Ministry of Education, myRIS University Malaysia Sabah, #mydigitalmaker,
Malaysia Digital Economy Cooperation (MDEC) and Pertubuhan Intelektual Dan
KIROTECH Robotics & Coding Programs Nationwide
NATIONAL SCRATCH COMPETITION (NSC) 2020
KIROTECH Robotics & STEM Education Centre, Pertubuhan Intelektual Dan Inovasi Malaysia and Alumni Parlimen Belia Malaysia, in collaboration with Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth and Sports, myRIS University Malaysia Sabah, and #mydigitalmaker, Malaysia Digital Economy Cooperation (MDEC) will be organizing 2020 National SCRATCH Competition.
This competition is open for all Primary & Secondary school students and Youths (18years – 25years) in Malaysia.
The objective of this competition is to spur students and youth interest in field of coding and STEM in line with the growth of Industrial Revolution 4 (IR 4.0). We also believe through coding students and youths can enhance their problem solving skill.
Coding is a basic literacy in the digital age, and it is important for beginners across age to understand and be able to work with an understanding the technology around them. SCRATCH is a perfect tool to teach beginners coding. Through SCRATCH we can create animated stories, games and etc.
The future benefit of the COVID-19 pandemic could outweigh its present
risk, especially for small and medium enterprises tapping into the digital
space, says Dr Darren Gouk, founder and CEO of My AOne Learning Sdn Bhd
AOne, an education technology (Edu-Tech) company that provides a cloud-based management system to learning centres and runs an online marketplace that links lesson providers to students, has experienced a fall in its revenues since the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) this March. However, things are still looking up for the company because of the sudden interest in online classes.
As the Chinese adage goes; for every crisis, there is an opportunity. And over the long term, the potential market that arises from this Covid-19 pandemic could be huge.
Within the first few days after the announcement of MCO, Gouk hosted an
online session that was joined by 160 learning centres across South-East Asia
namely, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia for industry players to learn from
and support each other. “The idea behind the session was for all learning
centre operators to share how they can continue to provide lessons to these
students moving forward,” he says.
By carrying out such initiative, Gouk hopes to create stronger brand
awareness in the region in addition to continue serving their current clients. “We
are trying to help our clients so they will remember us. We want them to
continue to engage us, or even recommend us to other players in the market
during this MCO and after,” says Gouk.
It was also from this
sharing session that it became clear that all learning centres had to shift
from providing offline classes to online classes. This was the only way for
them to continue generating cash flow in order for their businesses to survive.
Because of this, AOne has received an influx of requests for a platform for
Most of these centre
use Zoom, a video conferencing software, for their online classes but the
recent security issues faced have sent them scurrying to look for alternatives.
Furthermore, for centres who are using the free version of Zoom, each session
is only limited to 40 minutes. This becomes a hassle for users who need to keep
joining a new session after the 40 minutes is up.
Taking these into
considerations, AOne teamed up with another Edu-Tech partner from Singapore to
launch its online learning platform. This platform, that offers an interactive
whiteboard, comes with better security features and has no time limit. Given
the current situation, this online platform is offered for free to all existing
customers. “During this period of crisis, we are trying to help our customers
who are in the same boat as us. We do our best in giving back as much as we can,”
AOne’s online learning platform was introduced to clients only two weeks
ago but the response has been encouraging. “In 14 days, there were about 600
classes conducted using our software. Some 180 teachers signed up to use it,”
Before this, digitalization in the educator sector was always seen as an
“add-on” or an alternative. However, because of this crisis, the awareness of importance
of going digital has increased significantly. Gouk believes that learning
centres will continue to adopt digitalization measures such as carrying out
e-Learning even after the MCO is lifted.
The education landscape in South-East Asia will definitely see a drastic change at the end of this pandemic. More and more learning centres will adopt e-Learning and other digitalization measures in their businesses. While Covid-19 poses as a short-term risk, the opportunity it offers moving forward will be huge in proportion.
The original article first appeared in The Edge Markets on 21st April 2020 . https://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/elearning-opportunity-crisis
Malaysia’s Prime Minister had announced the prolonged Movement Controlled Order (MCO) for another 14 days until 14 April. At the same time, Singapore has announced additional measures to curb COVID-19 that is to ban all large gatherings and suspending all centre-based tuition and enrichment classes until 30 April. Given that having face-to-face classes is the livelihood for most of us, we definitely feel a great negative impact to our business.
All centre operators agreed that there is a need to shift from offline to online teaching and learning. There are already many existing online platforms that provides content for students to learn from. As a result, parents may freeze or withdraw their children from your centre and substitute the classes with an online provider. Hence, in this situation, we should pivot fast and switch to online as soon as possible. Focus on those parents who are ready to engage in online learning and maximise our effort there.
In general, the adoption rate (parents who agreed to online learning) is about 60% to 85% depending on the type of lessons that is provided. It is worth noting that not all parents will agree with the idea of online learning. Experience sharing from several centre operators reveal that common friction faced are parents are not as keen to allow their younger children to use a laptop or tablet to learn and they do not believe that e-learning will as effective as offline lessons.
To tackle these issues, you need to address the initial aim of parents sending their children for lessons in the first place – that is to learn and improve on a certain subject or skill. If their children’s learning curve is suddenly disrupted, they might not be able to catch up in the future. Highlight to them the importance of continuing their education even in such difficult time. Besides that, you may suggest parents to sit with their younger children and assist them in the first few online classes and see whether they are able to cope with it. A typical big classroom setting can also be split into smaller groups with shorter sessions.
Online learning can be used beyond the typical classroom
arrangement. Several music centre owners have conducted various classes through
Zoom. For example, a Piano lesson provider uploads pre-recorded videos to
Youtube for music instrument teaching. Students are required to watch these
videos before their online class for a more engaging class. Parents are loving
this initiative as they get to see first-hand what their children have been
learning all this time.
Market is always there. Parents and students will still be spending in
education but in different ways. We have to be agile and quick to change
our model to cater their needs!”
NO 2 – Communication & Engagement with parents/students and teacher
Over-communication is always better than under-communication. As centre owner-operators, it is your responsibility to constantly engage with all stakeholder of your business i.e parents / students, teachers, franchisees, licensees etc. While you might be worried on the financial aspect of the business, parents are as worried for their children’s learning progress and teachers are worried about the future of their job and income.
When coming up with a plan for this period, whether is to have
replacement classes or shift to online classes, you must include your staff
members in this plan. This is because they will be the frontliners to execute
whatever that is planned out and they understand better on the possible
challenges that will occur. This also gives the opportunity for a transparent
discussion and a clear direction for everyone in the organization to follow.
For the parents’ side, always address the situation as it is. Do not be vague by telling them everything will be fine but rather mention specifically your interim solution and how it will be carried out. Learning centres must be well prepared to inform parents even before any further announcements from the Government i.e. the Prolonged MCO until 14th April. It certainly makes a huge difference if a centre operator informs their students and parents on their interim arrangement (e.g online class, pro-rate fees, replacement class) immediately after the government’s announcement versus another centre operator that only notify parents on their centre’s arrangement five days after the announcement. The same theory applies to communication with teachers and other stakeholders, ie. Franchisees, licensees as well.
3. What should I do to maximise lockdown period?
This is the best time to promote your centre on social media. This is because everyone is scrolling through their Facebook and Instagram at home. Continue to engage with your current clients (parents) and use this opportunity to promote your centre and attract past leads and contacts. For example, some centre owners organised Facebook Live sessions to showcase their unique selling points such as how they teach their students. This is a great tool to use as parents can easily share this to their friends and family members to watch together. Not only would this further engage your current students for more stickiness towards your business, but at the same time it will also attract new students to your learning centre.
In addition to this, constantly post on your Facebook page and Instagram, whether it is sharing a funny joke or posting questions. By doing so, this sub-consciously reminds parents why they signed up for your lessons in the first place and will continue to join your centre after the lockdown period. For fitness related classes or music school operators, most commonly seen strategies are utilising hashtags (#) on Instagram and Tik-Tok to build the engagement. A simple search will show that they are many videos on these platforms from “workout from home” to “learn to play a song in 14 days”.
On the backend of the business, take this time to clear all documents and review aspects of the business that you previously did not have the time for. For example, prepare a cash-flow analysis and business performance review for the first quarter of 2020. Compare it with your targeted achievement and locate areas of the business that can be improved. Get to know the following metrics:
% of student withdrawal on a
Student enrolment channels
% spending on salary
Life-time value of your
Which programme (lesson)
performs the best
Which teacher generates more
At the same time, you may
also consider to enhance your lessons plans by including more teaching tools or
utilizing various platforms for a higher productive class.
As a software provider to learning centres, we observed that centre operators are taking this opportunity during this MCO period to perform data entry to the system. Similarly, new users are going through our on-boarding process where they are guided to use their system. This includes all of their team members on systemising the centre operation using our solution. By the end of this period, they will be able to restart their business stronger with more organised and automated operations.
4. Government incentives and opportunities for SMEs (in Malaysia only)
On 24th March 2020, Bank Negara Malaysia announced an automatic six-months moratorium for all loans including business loans, property mortgages and hire purchase. This gives a better cash-flow arrangement for all business owners. At the same time, if you are renting the location of your centre, you may negotiate the rental fees with the landlord. Some owners shared that their landlords were understanding enough to give 50% off their monthly rent. Click here for more info.
Bank Negara Malaysia has also allocated RM2 billion to alleviate the short-term cash flow problems. Eligible SME owners may apply for financing with a capped rate of 3.75% p.a with a tenure of up to 5.5 years. Applications are available for major banks in Malaysia. Click here for more info.
Under the 2020 Budget, the
government; through Ministry of Finance (MOF) collaborated with Bank Simpanan
Nasional (BSN), SME Bank, and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) in
setting up a grant for eligible Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to adopt
digitalisation in daily operations.
Launched in mid-February, this is a 50% matching grant of up to RM5,000 per company for the subscription of any digital solution such as a management system, accounting software and HR payroll solutions. This matching grant will be worth RM500 million over 5 years, limited to the first 100,000 application. Click here for more info.
AOneSchools has been selected as one of the Technology Solution Providers (TSP) under this initiative. Any learning centres such as tuition centres, enrichment classes providers, kindergartens, daycare centres, swim schools, music schools that meet the eligibility criteria will receive 50% subsidy (up to RM5,000 when adopting our management system.
5. PLAN B – What should I do if further lockdown for 3 months?
“Plan for the worst, do our best” was the tagline of the discussion. At this rate, no one can predict if the lockdown period will continue and if the COVID-19 situation will worsen. Hence, the only thing we can do is to plan for the worst and do our best throughout this entire period.
you need to face the reality and estimate how long your business can sustain
with zero revenue. By getting that aspect done, proceed to plan for your
cash-flow management. List down all fixed cost, variable cost and operational
cost. For example, loan repayment, rental fees, salaries, utility bills,
printing cost, office supplies, royalty payment to HQ. Locate which cost can be
lowered and what can be done to cut expenses.
in terms of running the business, many centre owners asked how they can manage
their business from home. At this crucial period, it is suggested that you
include automation in any of your work procedure. This includes automated fee collection (auto-billing, in-app
payment), cashless fee collection, replacement class arrangement, e-attendance
and e-progress reports. By doing so, you can always be on-the-go and still
manage your business while reducing your operational cost. By using
AOneSchools, centre operators can basically manage the centre operations from
Finally, continue to offer e-Learning to your
students. While you might experience some resistance from parents, having some
students is clearly better than having no
students at all. In the long run if this continues, parents will not have the
luxury of choosing not to join online classes as this will be the only option
for education. The education industry will continue to survive as the market is
always there. It is just how agile we can be to change our business model and
adapt to current time.
“We can’t change the
situation, but we can change our mindset in dealing with the situation