Digital education is gradually gaining importance every year in an increasingly interconnected world. Lebanon may be behind in terms of classroom technology, but some NGOs and public or private actors are attempting to make Educational Technology common in the country.
Despite the fact that 80% of public schools are equipped with computer labs, only 63% of students from grades 6 to 8, or Circle 3, are taught computer-related skills. Whereas all private schools are equipped with 86% of the students taught such skills – according to data from the Center for Educational Research and Development, a governmental body.
Computer science has been taught since the 1990s, but the curriculum has not changed since then to keep pace with technological advances and relevant skills. Another challenge is the fact that a new tech-focused curriculum is not a priority for many schools that face basic infrastructure-related problems. Therefore, students are left with outdated material and become unprepared for the modern world of innovation.
Enters Lebanese Startup Cherpa: the online platform dedicated to teaching robotics in a fun and interactive way. Cherpa is a gamified e-learning platform equipping youth with skills needed for future jobs targeting schools and parents.
The startup works with industry experts in the top companies in the world such as NASA, Facebook, Amazon, and others to bring real world applications happening now in the world to classrooms for teenagers to solve! Students gain tech skills in Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, self-driving cars and many more.
Cherpa has joined the Touch Innovation Program in its 3rd cycle hoping to establish strong connections in the country, learn from industry experts and mentors, as well as increase their exposure in the ecosystem.
Cherpa’s founder, Ibrahim Ezzeddine, explained the mission behind his startup, “We always talk about how education has been the same for decades. And it’s true! The modern scene and curricula are equipping students with outdated skills, crushing students’ creativity and not giving them a clear vision to what the world looks like today or in a few years after they graduate. What’s worse is that the methods used in education are inefficient, follows a standardized model and leaves students un-interested to learn.”
He concluded, “We know that there will be high demand for these skills when they’re older, and thus we put them on a unique path to prepare them in the best way possible for their future.”