Interviews

“The Closure of Schools and Universities Has Forced the Education System to Become More Flexible”

Charlotte Margus, the Country Manager for UAE at Le Wagon, speaks about the challenges presented by the pandemic and how the regional education sector is overcoming those challenges

How has the pandemic affected the education sector in the region?
The closure of schools and universities forced the education system to become more flexible and move to technology by using tech tools and discover some really well-known digital applications in order to ensure that the program could continue, as much as possible, uninterrupted. At Le Wagon we have moved very quickly to total remote bootcamp experiences during the lockdown thanks to Zoom and we have discovered a lot of amazing features as “virtual room split” to divide our classroom into several groups with one teacher dedicated to each group.

What sort of opportunities do you see in the regional education sector?
As the region is booming in term of technology, startups, investment and becoming a real economic hub, the UAE will need new talents. This an amazing opportunity for the education sector to train the future global talent or successful entrepreneurs, specifically in the tech industry.

Is there a digital disconnect despite tech tools being available for distance education?
Distance education makes internet connection and a device ownership a requirement to study whatever the age. Nobody (children and parents) was really ready to have this permanent access to internet in term of knowledge, tool access, security and privacy

How can this digital disconnect be bridged?
There is a huge need to initiate to technology all the people that are working in the education sector. If people in education know more about tech and all its possibilities, they could find solutions and they will be able to push to implement better tools to bridge the digital disconnect.

STEM has risen as the go to stream of education during the pandemic. What importance does STEM have in developing the skillsets of a student?
STEM is not only an acronym to group all the growing academic disciplines needed for a student to succeed in the “new normal”: learning Science, Tech, Engineering and Mathematics develop critical problem-solving abilities, mindsets and creativity.

Do you use solutions today to make STEM learning a seamless experience?
At Le Wagon, our way of teaching is focused on practice and is product-oriented. This means that our students are learning how to code by doing. The goal for them is to create a tech product to solve a user problem with coding. The programming language is only a tool to serve their creative brains and innovative mindsets.

What about the security aspects of online learning. How can that be addressed?
Security can increase the complexity of online learning with the information access and authorization to modify data. That why it is really important for people who are launching online educational tools or who are using tech tools for educational purpose to understand the technology behind.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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