Freeman Cebu Business

Kumon eyes opening seven new centers by yearend


CEBU, Philippines – Kumon Philippines opened its second branch office in the country here in Cebu last June 19, which according to Cebu branch leader Lawrence Laureta, will help serve their learning centers in Palawan, Visayas and Mindanao.

Laureta said that due to the growing number of inquiries from the VisMin area, their head office decided to open a branch office that would facilitate the applications and the training of the prospective instructors.

“Since they need that we train them in the head office, it will be quite a task for them to go to Makati for the training,” Laureta lamented.

“With the opening of the Cebu branch we would want this learning method to be available to interested Kumon franchisees or instructors who would want to put up a Kumon Center in their area,” he added.

Laureta revealed that this move was also made to help Kumon’s goal in putting up learning centers in major cities in the country. In the Visayas area, Kumon plans to open up seven new centers, bringing their number of centers up to 35, in VisMin alone. At present, there are six Kumon centers in Cebu.

The branch office will help guide instructors in their instruction, communication and center management. It will also serve as a quality control center, where assessors will be fielded to the different learning centers to monitor the standards of each center.

“Anyone can apply for a center, but our application process is very stringent. It is not actually putting up a business, it is more of like getting people with the same ideals as Kumon,” said Laureta.

“We are looking for educators who love to see the development of the children, not the resources that they have,” he added.

Laureta, however, clarified that for one to put up a franchise, she need not be a teacher. “We do have franchisers who have been executives of companies and would love to pursue teaching students or motivating students. So, they need not have a very technical skill in mathematics and reading because we do provide them our trainings,” he said.

A Kumon Center can accommodate from 20 students to up to 1000 students. Each center may employ assistants to help ensure that each student be given the proper attention that is required of a Kumon Center. The main instructor, however, should be the franchiser, and as Laureta revealed, the company prefers female instructors.

The Kumon way of learning started in July 1945 when its founder, Toru Kumon, was prodded by his wife to provide self-learning based education to their first son, Takeshi, who at the time was in the second grade in Elementary. In 1955, the first Math Center using Kumon worksheets was opened in Moriguchi City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

The program arrived in the Philippines in 1982. At present the country has 128 centers, and in VisMin, the largest center located in Cagayan de Oro City, has more than 500 enrollees.

Kumon Centers offers supplemental learning for Math and Reading Comprehension. —Ritche T. Salgado

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