. This month we have been catching up with Vassilis Vlachokyriakos, Regional Sales Manager of MM Educational Group in Southeast Asia, to find what you can expect to see from them at GESS Asia this month and learn more about their English Language Teaching (ELT), Computing and ICT, Maths and Science books and online solutions for which they will be showcasing on their stand (C4).
1) Can you tell us a little bit about MM Educational Group?
MM Educational Group is a content creator with a global presence that delivers complete educational solutions. It consists of nine distinct companies that collectively develop content and provide educational materials and services in four subject areas: English Language Teaching (ELT), Computing and ICT, Maths and Science. Since its foundation in 1974, MM Educational Group has been committed to spreading knowledge - a mission which it accomplishes through the provision of localised educational solutions with global standards. Our “crown jewel” all these years has been MM Publications (https://www.mmpublications.com), specialising in the provision of books, materials and services to support the teaching and learning of the English language. With offices in 7 countries and distributors in more than 110 countries, our materials and services are now available on every continent.
2) What initiatives are you working on currently?
In pursuit of our mission, we at MM Educational Group strive to remain true to the core values that helped us reach the position that we currently hold in the market:
- Excellence: Deliver superior value to students, teachers, partners, employees and the communities in which we participate.
- Integrity: Employ the highest ethical standards and honour our commitments.
- Honesty: Create and maintain long-lasting relationships built on loyalty and trust.
- Respect: Recognise, accept and cater to the personal and cultural differences of students, teachers, partners and employees.
3) What would you say is the most unique aspect of your products?
We produce learning materials that help learners achieve a higher level of knowledge of the subject (English, ICT Maths, Science), develop their cognitive capabilities and acquire necessary life skills. Our products include a broad spectrum of learning resources, from specific courses to suit all age groups and learning, to exam preparation support material; from books for local markets to accessible and sophisticated, interactive e-learning courses and digital components. Especially for English Language Teaching (ELT), MM Publications’ aim is to help people learn the language of international communication while respecting the diverse needs of local communities and shaping our learning materials around a variety of individual learning styles. We constantly strive to uphold the same uncompromising standards in order to:
- offer innovative, creative and practical materials, and
- earn and keep the trust of those who choose our materials.
4) What would you say is the biggest challenge in the current system that your products provide the solution for?
In the recent years, mobility has been very crucial in our everyday life. Especially during the covid-19 outbreak, teachers and students have realized the importance of nonstop access to the teaching and learning materials! MM Educational Group, being part of the education process for the past 40 years, especially in the field of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) through MM Publicaitons, has created all the necessary tools and resources (printed and digital online and offline) to safeguard the bond between students and teachers. Learning is a continuous process and nothing should stand in its way!
5) What are the benefits to both schools and educators using your products?
Our mission at MM Educational Group is simple: to spread knowledge by providing localised educational solutions with global standards. Using our books and materials, students will be able to deal with real-life situations, develop open-mindedness and critical thinking skills. Our students are the citizens of tomorrow and they are treated as such! Similarly, teachers are never left alone! Our vast experience, for over 48 years in education and ELT, has made us first and foremost educators! With on-site training, workshops, presentations, online webinars and professional development talks, our fellow educators are offered all the necessary tools that will help them be part of the educational experience that MM Educational Group has created!
6) Where do you see the future of education / what do you hope for in the future?
Education is not a set of rules, nor is it a method of deciphering codes and riddles. Education is a unique experience and it should be treated as such. Learners come from different backgrounds (cultural, social etc.) carrying with them their distinctive talents and experiences. Therefore, teachers are expected to play a wider role than that of the instructor! Education should be inclusive and not separate the students based on what they seem to know but rather on what the school can offer them. Everyone can learn new things and benefit from education! Our main goal is to help young kids adapt to the world and be prepared to interact in their everyday life not only as kids but also as the citizens of tomorrow.
Moreover, we need to make sure that there aren’t any obstacles in their way towards knowledge. After what we all experienced over the past 2 years with Covid-19 and with the numerous lockdowns, we have witnessed the necessity of nonstop access to the teaching and learning process. This has become a significant challenge in our days and is what we need to work on from now on. The future of education and at the same time, what I hope for, lies in the ability of every individual to access and experience it anytime, anywhere!
7) What are your plans for Indonesia and the wider ASEAN region?
MM Educational Group has a presence in Indonesia since 2016. Our ELT books and materials have already been a part of the everyday life in many schools around the country. During covid-19, with the valuable assistance of our local partners, all the schools, teachers and students were offered by our very own MM Publications, all the necessary means, tools and resources, to be able to work undistracted no matter the place or the conditions! Indonesia is a wonderful country with people who are eager to learn and working hard to progress and succeed! For this reason, we have been working hard in order to cater all the needs of the local students. Through dynamic innovation and continuous collaboration with our partners, we strive to produce new material, having one vision: to advance local education.
As far as the wider ASEAN region is concerned now, the very same vision is guiding us! Southeast Asia is a compilation of unique cultures and civilisations with remarkable achievements throughout the ages! Our goal, which at the same time incorporates a great honour, is not just to create educational material; We intend to be part of the educational process in every country of the region, spreading knowledge with our international as well as special, localised editions!
8) What can visitors expect to take away from your talk at the conference this year?
We are walking into a new era and not just in education. Teachers and students are expected to “operate” in a new and more “mobile” environment. Our intention is to make the educators aware of the peculiarities and be prepared to deal with various challenges. Our role as publishers is to make sure that our fellow educators have all the necessary tools, and at the same time know how to use them, in order to cope with the new world that has emerged! However, apart from the new tools that have entered the classroom, there are also new roles, new habits and new behaviours that have emerged. At the end of our talk, the visitors will realise a few simple yet important things: The significance of their role in their students’ lives and also the warmth and sincere presence of MM Educational Group in every step of the way to their new routine! We never stand still; we are always by your side!