Rodney Briggs is the Vancouver (Canada)-based president of Maple Bear Global Schools Ltd (estb.2005) which runs a chain of franchised preschools promoting Canadian best teaching practices in 20 countries. Maple Bear South Asia (in a joint venture with Modi Edutech Pvt. Ltd) currently supervises 91 franchised preschools and nine K-class V schools — most of them rated and ranked highly in the latest EW India Preschool Rankings 2018 — in 41 cities countrywide with an aggregate enrolment of 7,000 children in the six months-ten years age-group, mentored by 800 teachers.
Newspeg. Briggs was in Bangalore in September for the third annual Maple Bear South Asia’s National Owners’ Convention. During the convention, Maple Bear launched a six-month teacher training diploma programme for franchised preschool teachers.
History. An alum of the University of Manitoba (Canada), Briggs began his career in 1981 in Canada’s foreign service. During his tenure in South Korea, which began in 1994, he played a major role in enhancing cultural and education ties between the two countries. In two years, the number of student visas issued to Korean students signing up with Canadian universities rose from 800 to 8,000, enabling Canada to emerge as a major hub for international education.
This prompted the Canadian government to establish the Canadian Education Centre Network (CECN), a not-for-profit partially funded by the government in 1997.
In 2003, the government stopped funding CECN, and the idea of Maple Bear Global Schools Ltd as a subsidiary of CECN was born. In 2005, the first Maple Bear preschool was launched in Indirapura, New Delhi. In 2007 Briggs resigned his position as president of CECN and was appointed president of Maple Bear Global Schools Ltd (MBGSL).
Direct talk. “The Canadian education system is one of the best in the world. In the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) global test which assesses the English or French writing, science and maths proficiency of 15-year-olds, Canadian students were ranked #2 in reading, #7 in science and #10 in maths. The factors behind the quick rise of Maple Bear schools in public esteem in India are continuous investment in teacher training, robust infrastructure norms prescribed by MBGSL and excellent curriculum designed by Canadian academics,” says Briggs.
Future plans. A higher growth trajectory is the course of action for the future. “We are set to launch Maple Bear pre-primaries in seven countries in central and eastern Europe, Hong Kong and West Africa next year. We have also drawn up a plan to add to the nine K-V Maple Bear elementary schools in India,” says Briggs.
Sruthy Susan Ullas (Bangalore)