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30 percent of the market may go bankrupt

How English schools reacted to quarantine Johannes Röll Visitors: 37 ★★★★

“30% of the market may go bankrupt”: how English schools reacted to quarantine


English Placement Marketplace Enguide conducted a quarantine study of the market for English schools in Ukraine. Representatives of the marketplace Yevgeny Bogdanov and Lidiya Sapega told how they responded to the situation and what measures they came to in the column for AIN.UA.

On the one hand, English schools are lucky - they are not an airport and can transfer students online. On the other hand, if the quarantine is delayed, then you won’t see the white line until September.

At Enguide, we are observing the situation from the outside. We are not a school, but a service for choosing English courses. In the catalog in Kiev we have 196 schools. We asked 70 of them how the closure of offices affected the business and what to expect - how the market will behave under quarantine conditions.

What now:
- 92% of schools have transferred or plan to transfer their studies online,
- they work with groups through Zoom and Skype,
- 10% had their own online tools in stock
- 5 schools froze quarantine courses.
- According to our estimates, now more than 10,000 students in Kiev study English remotely.

New format of work
While we added dice on the site, saying that schools can now study online, our partners urgently changed the format of work.
The percentage of losses varies from school to school. Those who are not ready to adapt online can lose 50-60% of students, ready for the transition - up to 20%. Now more than half of the clients have continued to study online, there are students who have frozen the course for the quarantine period, 3-10% have asked for a refund. In a difficult situation there were schools that technically cannot adapt the methodology for the network.
Fortunately, the training centers managed to retain old customers, but the demand for services fell sharply. Previously, popular English schools could receive 10 new entries per day. In quarantine - at best, one.

And schools themselves do not recruit new ones, waiting for what will happen next.

How offline schools organized online learning
Understanding that initially students chose offline, schools came up with lots of goodies. Not only discounts and opportunities to break down payments, but also services. For example, students can now:

- Chat in online chat clubs, where up to 30 people gather at the same time,
- Participate in online marathons with grammar exercises or new vocabulary,
- Attend virtual cinema halls and movie clubs,
- Chat in English with teachers, classmates and bots,
- Call up with the teacher and get feedback.


The format of the main lessons for them has not changed. Zoom allows students to be divided into groups and pairs, watch videos together and use the computer screen as an interactive whiteboard. Everything, as in a regular class. But the coolest thing is that the schools managed to maintain constancy. Everyone practices English without a break.

In addition to the continuity of training, there was another plus - for the first time, students discovered a remote format for themselves. Not only adults, but also children.

Nevertheless, the schools were not ready for such a sharp leap online. At the time of quarantine, only 8 of them could boast of having their own platforms and ready-made visuals for classes. At the initial stage, many had to work with paper textbooks in front of the screens of laptops and smartphones.

What school principals predict
Already now in Enguide analytics we can see that in a week the request for finding courses fell by 56% compared with the same week before quarantine. No surprises here.
According to schools, 30% of the market may go bankrupt by September. According to the most optimistic forecasts, schools will face a one-month income gap. But if the quarantine lasts, then it will be necessary to keep the business afloat until September, because summer is another crisis period for the industry.
A complete transition to online and abandoning offices is not an option. Many will enjoy working remotely, but the virtual market is much more competitive. To develop a full-fledged online infrastructure and capture a niche, according to partners, at least $ 200,000 is needed.

Schools also fear price dumping and the fact that the Internet will be flooded with one-day projects without qualified teachers. But, what pleases, no one is in a hurry to lose optimism.
From the positive, school owners see an opportunity to overestimate and understand whether they are ready to love the process without a result. There have been no fresh solutions on the market for a long time. And now the boomerang - now the situation forces us to make such decisions almost every day.

Johannes Röll
Johannes Röll

Johannes Röll was born 1978 in Brilon,Germany. Graduated RWTH Aachen University. Over the past ten years he worked as Head of the plastic card team, where he was mainly responsible for the development of the distribution, Head of sales Department and Financial Analyst,where he got experience in planning and support sales figures for branches. For the present he works as freelancer

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