• Pilot involved 2,000 students from select GEMS schools, preparing them for careers in the fast-growing technology sector
• Initiative has now been rolled out to the entire GEMS network of schools, providing free access to a host of online courses on emerging technologies and soft skills
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, July 05, 2020: GEMS Education today announced its collaboration with IBM to roll out IBM Digital – Nation to over 50 schools in the UAE and the wider region. The launch follows a successful pilot programme that saw the IBM Digital – Nation platform piloted in select GEMS schools earlier this year. With more than 2,000 students having already benefited from the pilot, the move to extend access will enable thousands more students to tap IBM's expertise and take advantage of a host of online courses.
Delivered on IBM Cloud, IBM Digital – Nation is designed to deliver advanced knowledge and skills in key emerging technologies. It is part of IBM's global push to close the digital skills gap and empower youth with the most in-demand skills, helping them become digital-ready. Since its rollout as part of the pilot in March 2020, several GEMS schools have integrated IBM Digital – Nation as part of their e-learning journey.
Michael Gernon, Chief Education Innovation Officer, GEMS Education, said: “We are proud to be the first private education provider in the UAE to provide the highly impactful IBM Digital – Nation platform to students – especially during this unprecedented time of remote learning. As education leaders, we have a vital role to play in preparing our students for the new technology-driven opportunities of the future. The skills gap is mounting as new technologies and digitisation continue to transform the industry. Our collaboration with IBM is all about preparing our students and providing them with novel tools to be successful. We are fully committed to bringing the very best experiences and opportunities to our students, ensuring they are optimally prepared for the future.”
Hossam Seif El-Din, Vice President, Enterprise and Commercial, IBM Middle East and Africa, said: “As we navigate these uncertain times, we are, now more than ever, seeing the importance of emerging technologies and digital skills to support and enhance the economy. IBM Digital – Nation has proven to be an effective platform to help provide youth with highly sought-after digital skills; and today, GEMS Education and IBM are coming together again to expand access to the digital learning platform to educators and students in the region.”
An internal assessment conducted by GEMS Education showed that the platform has had a significant positive impact on students at schools that piloted the programme. Pupils of GEMS Modern Academy, GEMS New Millennium School – AL Khail, GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis, GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa and GEMS Dubai American Academy all expressed satisfaction with the IBM Digital – Nation courses, saying they were engaging, informative, relevant and grade-level appropriate.
Masha Nazeem, Innovation Lead at GEMS New Millennium School – Al Khail, said: “At GEMS New Millennium School, we ensure that innovation is the spine of every curriculum design. We proudly demonstrate this as our USP. With support from GEMS X, we introduced the IBM Digital – Nation platform to our Grade 9 and 10 students with the aim of advancing their skillsets and shaping them to be future ready.”
Kevin Thomas Sam, a Grade 10 student at GEMS New Millennium School, Al Khail, said: “IBM Digital – Nation was an amazing journey for me. It provided vast information on different applications and software. I was particularly interested in the modules on blockchain and quantum computing, and I have received over 60 badges on the IBM platform so far, which are internationally recognised. I have discovered so many new insights that I never would have if I had not been given this opportunity.”
Gaurav Nandkumar, a student at GEMS Wellington Academy – Dubai Silicon Oasis, said: “I did a course on IBM Digital – Nation and it highlighted different areas of work, life, medicine and sports. These courses have helped me understand the extensive learning areas in the digital world that will help me prepare for my road ahead.”
The IBM Digital – Nation platform provides students access to over 75 different courses comprising over 250 hours of learning, with a focus on highly sought-after advanced IT skills in next generation technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, cloud, coding, Internet of Things (IoT), quantum computing, data science and analytics, and cybersecurity.
The courses will remain accessible until 31 August 2020 and are offered at three levels – Explorer, Innovator and New Collar – and run both as part of the school curriculum and as individual courses. Students who successfully complete each course gain IBM digital credentials that will help enhance their university applications and CVs. Each student and teacher also has their own account with full access to all the necessary tools to create and innovate new solutions.