Young, ambitious, visionary, fusional, Heri and Manoa, married, have decided to create an English school in Madagascar: the Elementary School of Antananarivo or ESA.

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Optimistic, confident and voluntary, these two young people came back to the country after having studied in France, because they believe in a Madagascar land of opportunity. They have also turned to English schooling to enable young Malagasy to learn English to embrace opportunities in these English-speaking countries later. Interview with an extraordinary couple who, hand in hand, decided to snap their entire economy to undertake in the Big Island.

It’s all gone!

Ramaromanana Heriniaina and Manoa Clari. This is the name of the two founders of the English-language Elementary School of Antananarivo. Young, passionate, ambitious and dynamic, optimistic and patriotic, Heri and Manoa – that’s how they are called in everyday life – have chosen to undertake in education in Madagascar, after several years of study in France,
in finance (MIASH, Applied Mathematics Applied to Human Sciences) for Heri and in Marketing and Communication for Manoa.

A risky choice, because creating an English school is complicated, in Madagascar, in terms of procedures. It takes about 10 years of seniority to be recognized by the English-speaking world system. On the other hand, the tuition fees of English schools are much higher than those of other schools. However, this did not discourage the couple, who decided to slam their entire economy into the creation of this school, in 2018.

“We were about to finish our studies in France and we had the choice between staying in France, having our job, having a comfortable life, but at the same time having trouble creating your own business, because as a foreigner, it’s hard to create something there; or returning to Madagascar. My mother wanted to create an English-speaking school. She asked me if we could do it, if we wanted to do it. We accepted”, says Manoa with a smile on her face.

Thus, after a cost and market study, Heri and Manoa decided to create an English-speaking school in Madagascar. A big investment: the couple has spent their entire economy in the creation of this school.

“We blew it all away for school, but we didn’t regret it! We had to save money but we also enjoyed life a little bit,” said Manoa.

Manoa et Heri
Manoa et Heri, the two founders of the ESA Ambohitrarahaba. ©Given pictur

Indeed, the project funds come from the salaries of both spouses, who were doing work-study work in France.

“The good thing about France is that they pay you what you’re worth,” Manoa points out.

Thanks to this condition, Heri and Manoa were able to save enough money to return home and set up the school they so cherished. But why an English-speaking school?

Why ESA?

“We chose to create an English-language school because here, the French-speaking market is already saturated. We want to encourage people to open up to other languages besides French, to open up to other countries besides France. The English language offers many possibilities and opportunities,” added Manoa.

ESA is located in Ambohitrarahaba, in the northeast of the capital. Currently, the school has about 12 students, including Malagasy but also students of other nationalities, and 5 classes. This is the first school year. ESA is special in its teaching method.

“We combine 2 teaching methods: the classic (based on the American program) and the Montessori method. We have 4 teachers from other English schools because we need teachers with a minimum of experience to have a first year with a suitable teaching quality, “explained Manoa.

The two co-founders remain confident about the future of the school.

“Today’s students become tomorrow’s leaders, becoming responsible, independent and healthy adults. We trust our project and we are confident that it will overcome the time, “say the couple.

Indeed, given the globalization and popularization of the English language in the country, the future of Anglophonie is certain. Apart from the fact that it is the most widely spoken language in the world and therefore represents a commercial and economic importance, during the Third Republic, according to Article 4 of the Fundamental Principles of the Constitution, the English is a third official language in the country. Although in 2010, the new constitution of the Fourth Republic has resumed bilingualism: Malagasy and French as official languages.

On the other hand, today, several companies, especially those in the tertiary sector, use the English language and require an advanced level of English for their employees. This is particularly the case for technology companies such as call centers, digital agencies, etc.

The English language is part of the history of Madagascar. Already in 1500, the Portuguese, French, Dutch and English tried to establish trading posts in Madagascar.

In 1810, the king of the Merina kingdom, Radama I, established relations with the English and opened the rest of the country to the English missionaries who spread the word. Christianity on the island and translated Malagasy into a written language. However, Madagascar became a French colony in 1896, hence the origin of the Francophonie on the Big Island.

The English language is part of the history of Madagascar. Already in 1500, the Portuguese, French, Dutch and English tried to establish trading posts in Madagascar.

In 1810, the king of the Merina kingdom, Radama I, established relations with the English and opened the rest of the country to English missionaries who spread Christianity on the island and translated Malagasy into a written language. However, Madagascar became a French colony in 1896, hence the origin of the Francophonie on the Big Island.

“Young people are the country.”

Still in their optimistic vision, Heri and Manoa have decided to organize an event within the school this year for Mother’s Day. An event entitled “Special Market For Mother’s Day” which took place on Saturday, May 18, within the institution itself. The show was dedicated to Mothers but also to young Malagasy entrepreneurs, who were selected by our spouses following a call for applications, because Heri and Manoa are also a couple who believe in the potential of young Malagasy people.

Manoa et Heri
The SMMD took place on Saturday, May 18th at the ESA Ambohitrarahaba. ©Book News Madagascar
Manoa et Heri

For Heri and Manoa, the investment of young people in socio-political and socio-economic life is essential if Madagascar is to progress. After experiencing life in France, the two young people agree that there is still hope.

Heri focused on young Malagasy people who have gone abroad, who show a certain lack of interest once they have left the Big Island.

“Those who are abroad and can return, I encourage them! There is so much to do in Madagascar! Those who are in Madagascar, do not envy those who have left. It seems impossible to see, but we can emerge. We can make our dreams come true! “, said Heri.

This message, the couple wanted to spread it, to make it heard by all young Malagasy people, in Madagascar and around the world. A deep message that deserves reflection.

“Whenever we want, we can. It takes a lot of will and motivation. You mustn’t be afraid, you have to break down the walls. It’s now or never, we’re young. We always say that it is the young people, the future of the country. I have always said, it is the young people, the country,” Heri says with determination.

Merger©

Manoa et Heri
©Given picture

Heri and Manoa have demonstrated an extraordinary determination and willingness to create their project and invest in their professional career. An investment that also shows in their relationship, as the partners reveal an extraordinary merger.

Heri and Manoa have a perfectly common vision of life. They agree by their optimism, their personality, but also their physique! 😀

During the interview, we did not fail to ask them a little bit to tell us about their love story. Guess what?! Heri and Manoa met…. on Facebook! D: To discover their love story, click on the video below!


Tiasy


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