The fast paced life of metropolitan cities is significantly influencing the life style of its inhabitants. Economic pressures are compelling both parents to work towards achieving and sustaining quality life standards. This has further added to complexity and competition of a metropolitan resident. As a result of these social changes, the trend of early child education is increasing, resulting in high demand for Montessori schools in metropolitan cities. Moreover, the competition for admission in renowned primary to higher education schools has tremendously increased, forcing parents to invest in early learning and development of kids to match the admission test requirements. On other end, growing population in urban cities due to migration from semi-urban areas has exhausted the limited capacity of existing private as well as public primary school systems. Thus, the private investor with his/her investment capacity is well positioned to capitalize on this opportunity for establishing adequately equipped and qualified staffed, viable school systems in the country.
Montessori school education is the first formal learning stage for a child. This article provides information on establishing a Montessori school in any metropolis of Pakistan, starting classes from Play group to Class II (aged 3 – 7) focusing on middle income tier of society. The overall proposed capacity of the Montessori school is for 170 students / year. However, the school will start with 89 students initially in year 1, gradually increasing to 170 students in year 8. Each class level from Playgroup, KG-I, KG-II has two sections while class I and II will have one section each. The maximum number of enrollments per class is limited to 20 students for Playgroup till KG-II and 25 students for class I and II.
The proposed building for the project will be acquired on rent, covering an approximate area of 1.5 Kanals to accommodate the proposed student strength.
The school will provide quality education starting at the Elementary level, charging an affordable fee structure. Advanced educational procedures will be practiced; teaching an extensive curriculum, using modern teaching methodology at par with international standards.
The Montessori school will have good infrastructural facilities, spacious classrooms, and wide-ranging learning material from books to toys for a meaningful educational experience.
Selection of Location for Play Group School in Pakistan
All major cities in the country are suited for starting a play group school. However, with the increasing population pressure and concentration of well reputed Montessori schools in metropolitan cities, smaller cities also present a very lucrative business opportunity for opening up a well planned Montessori school. Other than Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar & Quetta, cities like Sargodha, Multan, Faisalabad, Sheikhupura, Rahimyar Khan, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Gujrat, Hyderabad, Sakhur, Muzaffarabad, Gilgit, FATA and Abbottabad are also proposed. It is recommended that the play group school should be located in an easily approachable location, in line with the selected target market.
Space Required for a Montessori School
For a batch of 170 students, 1.5 kanals of land comprising double story building would be sufficient. A purpose built building may also be acquired on rent. The covered area should have 8 classrooms, 1 room for Principal, 1 room for teachers’ coordinator and 1 room for the administration staff. Appropriate numbers of washrooms are suggested for both staff and students. A big hall should be allocated with proper divisions for entertainment and computer section. An adequate area should also be allocated for the playground. The playground should have seesaws, slides, monkey bars and other playing equipment and tools.
Staff for a Montessori School in Pakistan
Your school is as good as your teachers. So, be very careful with the selection of the following key personals:
The Principal should be responsible for coordinating all the activities of the school including staff hiring, developing liaison with parents, maintaining and developing the brand name of the school for appropriate positioning, course design, admission tests and extra-curricular activities.
The coordinator would be assisting the principal in all school matters and will be responsible for the teachers’ attendance and their performance evaluation. The coordinator has to collaborate with students, parents, staff and volunteers to ensure that group activities run effectively. The coordinator will also supervise and monitor the tutoring of students.
The accountant will be responsible for book-keeping and maintaining accounts, salaries, and other administrative expenditures.
A balanced mix of experienced and fresh teachers is recommended for efficient running of the school. Each teacher shall be given a class and will be responsible for proper training, imparting knowledge, arranging co-curricular activities for children and their performances in the examinations.
The students in the elementary institutes are very young and may also need attendants or baby-sitters.
The teacher would be responsible for imparting basic computing skills in students.
Factors for Success of a Montessori School in Pakistan
- School’s environment should ensure security and should be free from any apparent hazard.
- The school should be preferably located in an area approachable for parents.
- At a Montessori school, teachers/attendants play a critical role in the success of the learning process. Therefore, it is suggested that staff employed by the school should be highly educated and properly trained for Montessori education. Before starting education services, it is recommended that teacher training program should be imparted.
- The education curriculum should be well researched and comprehensive. In addition to paper course work, it is suggested that visual and other teaching tools should also be optimally used.
- The area of the classrooms should be in line with the number of students in each classroom. Moreover, the classrooms should either be air-conditioned or at least well ventilated. Classrooms should also be well equipped with teaching as well as extra-curricular activity aids.
- Adequate provisions for physical, either indoor or outdoor or both facilities should be made available.
- Continuous teacher parent interaction should also be a regular feature of the school education system.
- The Design layout of school and its furnishing should be attractive for kids. Attention should be given to both the exterior and interior of the school to create an impact.
- Emphasis on child development with proper guidance.
- Marketing and promotion through various channels i.e. catalogs/pamphlets, outdoor advertisement, hoardings/flex signs, cable ads, digital and SMS marketing, coverage in magazines and channels, promotion through social media (Facebook etc).
- Higher return on investment and a steady growth of business is closely associated with regular training and capacity building of the entrepreneur. Prior experience / education in the related field of business can be a big advantage.
Investment Required to Start a Montessori School in Pakistan
The Montessori school business venture in Pakistan entails a total investment of about Rs. 2.20 million. This includes a capital investment of Rs. 1.80 million and a sum of Rs.0.40 million as initial working capital. The project is financed through 90% debt and 10% equity. The Net Present Value (NPV) of the project is around Rs. 11.20 million with an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 51% and a payback period of 3.16 years. Details of financial analysis can be studied in the pre-feasibility study of a Montessori school in Pakistan by SMEDA.
Also, checkout the license requirements for registration of a school in Pakistan.