Board gaming can fix the UK’s broken education system, says Panjango

Board gaming could just be the solution to fixing the country’s broken educational system, according to the card and board game startup, Panjango and its mission to open the minds of children to new ways of learning.

Panjango is the umbrella brand for a new Top Trumps-style card game and a fast and fun board game both or which are designed to get players thinking about what the world of the future will look and where they want to be within it when it comes to jobs.

The idea has been born out of the belief that the education system is “outdated and broken and not adequately preparing young people for life after school.” By gamifying and contextualising learning and skills, Panjango wants children and students to realise their ‘purpose in life much earlier.’

The Panjango portfolio starts with a Top Trumps-style game that encourages players to think about the kind of job they want when they are older, an expansion of the pack has them thinking about jobs of the future. Robot rights lawyers, re-wilders, Martian botanist – the jobs force players to think about where the world is headed and what skills they have that could be used in the futuristic roles.

“Students – even high academic young people – are leaving school without any practical knowledge, skills and experiences that are needed in the modern world of work,” Jon Maiden, Panjango’s co-founder and a former arts education charity director, told ToyNews.

“What society needs is people who can go out in the world, see a problem and solve it. What schools are currently developing is young people who can remember information to pass exams. In the world of Google, that is not useful.”

The stat that Panjango likes to bring out at times like this is that only 16 per cent of the population is satisfied with the job they have.

“That’s appalling and we want to help young people find their purpose much earlier on in life,” said Maiden.

By gamifying the learning process, Maiden and the team believe they have struck on the perfect tool to encourage wider thinking about learning, skills and careers. It is all ‘wrapped up’ in what the firm calls a “fun game, first and foremost.” The nature of the game is why Panjango also thinks it is perfectly positioned to become a popular family game played at home, as well as a tool for education used in schools.

“We have just got our ecommerce site up and running and are making direct sales through there, but next year we will be looking for UK retail distribution,” explained Maiden. “I think the nature of the game means it will work initially in independents, but I would lie to think that eventually we can get the traction to be considered high street as well.

“Gaming is a hot sector at the moment and we are bringing something wholly unique, fun, educational and potentially life changing for young players to that space.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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