Nothing could be harder for the Bangladeshi entrepreneurs who are expanding their business horizon far away from the country. Four Bangladeshi dynamic businessmen opened an international school in Bangkok, capital of Thailand this month.
The school named Centurion International School targets both expats and locals who want to offer their children a chance to start. "It's totally a team effort.
We strive to create a place of excellence where well educated teachers encourage children's creativity. We share a strong belief that all children should develop and nurture with acceptance and understanding," said Asif Rabbi, co founder of Centurion International School.Asif Rabbi, while on a brief visit in Dhaka, expressed his dreams centering the school to The Asian Age.
What inspired you to set up a school?
Thailand is a tourism-based country. We see a growing demand of international schools in Thailand. Bangkok is a vibrant city with excellent educational provision for expats.
After running a hotel business in Pattaya, I decided to open a school with my friends in pursuit of betterment of the society and I think venturing an education business is the best way to serve the society.
I saw parents, especially expats getting themselves into confusion. Selecting a right school is very challenging as there are so many international schools in Bangkok.
So, we start a school where teaching and learning aim at helping students become open-minded and courageous among other attributes.
Where are your teaching staff coming from?
Our teachers are from European and Thai community. They will all be qualified educators with 10 to 12 years teaching experience.
What curriculum do you follow? What additional curriculum will be available here?
We are an international school and we offer Cambridge curricula. Cambridge programs are offered in many schools worldwide. There will be an emphasis on extracurricular activities and sports.
Why would you encourage expats to enroll their children at your school?
Usually international schools here charge an average of THB 300,000 annually for early years. Our school currently charges THB 220,000.
Our school has a spacious natural environment and excellent facilities which makes it a unique place. It has a large library, swimming pool, landscaped grounds and indoor and outdoor playgrounds. We have already 50 students most of them are Thai, Indian as well as Bangladeshi. By next year, we'll start A Level curricula and Bangle wing also.
We offer world-class education and we encouraged to meet both academic and personal potential of each and every student. We recruit experienced and internationally-qualified teachers who provide a supportive and challenging environment for students. There is intensive exposure to Thai language. Twenty-one teachers have been hired so far, including the principal.
Are there scholarships and financial aid available?
Not now, but we will offer scholarship very soon based on class performance and extracurricular activities. What advice would you like to give someone who wants to run a business in Thailand?
Stay there, know the market and do something which will positively represent your country. Above all don't forget your roots.
What would be the biggest challenge as a foreign entrepreneur in Thailand?
The Thai market moves extremely fast and it's hard for a foreigner to keep up to date without local knowledge and expertise. The main obstacle is the language. Though we know little Thai, but we took an interpreter when we started to open this school.
Me and my other partners visited many schools in Bangkok and met educationists and related people who had experience and we also visited government offices for accreditation.
What is the difference between Thai and Bangladeshi education systems?
Most of the schools in our country have the idea of teaching the student in a traditional way. But I've seen that they focus more on extracurricular activities. The standard of education of Thailand inspires me. Their main focus is on a child's progress, not achievement. They teach student in an interesting way so that student don't need to study home more.
The writer is a working at The Daily Asian Age
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