Changing/Updating the school curriculum 📚

As discussed by @lamees.y.halawi on our Zoom call, I have created this topic to discuss how can we change or update the school curriculum.

We have been working on this for 2 years now and we’ve got some progress and some challenges that I will share below.

Some background about Cherpa:
Cherpa (www.cherpa.io) is an e-learning platform that introduces emerging and trending topics to students (as young as 12 years old) in a gamified way. Our courses handle topics that we believe the student should be aware of before graduating from school. Examples are Online Privacy and Cyber Security, Financial Literacy, Artificial Intelligence, and others.
A Promo video can be found here.

Our content also focuses on the 3 C’s of 21st Century Learning Creativity, Collaboration and Capacity-Building and follows the ISTE standards for online learning.

We currently work with schools mostly in Lebanon and recently in the UAE to integrate our courses into the curriculum.

Progress/Openness for schools:

Private schools:

  • These schools are open to adding 1 hour/week for our courses, although it’s not enough it’s somewhere to start.
  • Expensive schools are more open to this although more affordable schools need it most.
  • Already working with several high-end (eg. ACS Beirut) and low-end schools (eg. Lebanese Internation School).

Public schools:

  • The Ministry of Education has an optional session in the Lebanese curriculum called “Technology session” that can be given once a week that schools can include and teach any tech topic (mostly they do coding or robotics)
  • We had a pilot with the Ministry of Education to equip 5 public schools with our content and train their teachers (this year) for a plan to get into most of the public schools next year. After the resignation and the crisis, the pilot is currently on hold.

Challenges in Lebanon:

  • Not all schools/principals are convinced that the curriculum is outdated and has to change

  • The Lebanese curriculum has no enough room to add needed topics (only 1 session per week is not enough)

  • Some schools are not well equipped (infrastructure, projectors, computers…) BUT, DRASTI is an NGO working on equipping public schools with tablets and projectors.

  • Some teachers are not ready for this. BUT, we have a side initiative called “Cherpa Teacher’s Program” for teacher development to fill in this gap

  • Long sales/approval cycle for schools

Extra
Also good TED watch

:rocket:Let’s see how we can accelerate this!:rocket:

6 Likes

Awesome, I remember a few other people in the call were interested as well. Do you propose a time/day, maybe you can set up a doodle.com to see when people are available or make a poll here (you can do it with the gear box just above the text).

I’ll tag everyone in case some of those who weren’t available to attend miss this: @acsi-open-c and make sure they know this page is available to host people’s contributions: https://community.pitchworthy.co/c/asfari/community-proposals-and-event-suggestions/185

Yallah, it was lovely to have you guys on the call today!

1 Like

Hello Bilal,
From what I read, I think what your offering students is much needed. Our company worked with many schools and faced many of the same problems as you mentioned. All we were trying to do was promote the creative skills of their students and give each school free marketing as a side benefit. We felt that many schools didnt prioritize creativity and many schools wanted a bigger profit margin. Others had too much bureaucracy to cut through.
In the end we noticed that schools that had either art exhibitions, drama programs and/or decent libraries were the best bet. They were already in the mind set to accept supplements to the existing curriculum. Eventually avant garde ideas become mainstream and what you are offering will soon enough be recognized as a need by all schools. Goodluck!

ps- this is a classic TedTalk. great suggestion.

3 Likes

Hello all,

We are setting up a time to have an hour call to discuss how we can change/update the school curriculum.

If you like to join the call, please fill in below all the times that work for you (the more the better) so we can find a suitable time for all of us.

  • Monday at 12 PM (Beirut time)
  • Monday at 1 PM (Beirut time)
  • Monday at 2 PM (Beirut time)
  • Monday at 4 PM (Beirut time)
  • Monday at 5 PM (Beirut time)
  • Tuesday at 12 PM (Beirut time)
  • Tuesday at 1 PM (Beirut time)
  • Tuesday at 2 PM (Beirut time)
  • Tuesday at 4 PM (Beirut time)
  • Tuesday at 5 PM (Beirut time)
  • Wednesday at 12 PM (Beirut time)
  • Wednesday at 1 PM (Beirut time)
  • Wednesday at 2 PM (Beirut time)
  • Wednesday at 4 PM (Beirut time)
  • Wednesday at 5 PM (Beirut time)
  • Thursday at 12 PM (Beirut time)
  • Thursday at 1 PM (Beirut time)
  • Thursday at 2 PM (Beirut time)
  • Thursday at 4 PM (Beirut time)
  • Thursday at 5 PM (Beirut time)

0 voters

1 Like

@acsi-open-c - tagging people to ensure they get a chance to vote on this :slight_smile: Thanks @bassel

@bilal please can you help us set a Zoom Meeting tomorrow at 12 PM Beirut time to discuss the above. Thanks! :slight_smile:

1 Like

In for the call tomorrow at 12 PM Beirut time?

@Saleh_Attal
@Mike_Harb
@Sarah
@hanyanan
@marwa.ammar
@Rawaneaffara
@AlaaChbaro

Yes! Should we do it on zoom?

Hello Bassel,
I have an online lab that starts at 11.
However I am not expecting that it will take a long time.
I may join late if it took more time than what I expected!

Very interested for tomorrow’s discussion!

Yes I’m in! Looking forward!

1 Like

Yallah, I think that’s totally possible, I need to make sure we don’t have another call at that time. Also, it’s the first day of the sprint, yall ready? I’ll send you the 1% better worksheet in the morning and at 5:30pm we’ll be having our mentor call (that was the best time I could find in terms of overlaps).
See you tomorrow!

Hello, yes I’m in :grin::grin:

Super interesting, and super interested! I have a meeting at 11 but will do my best to finish before 12 and join you!

Hey @bassel and crew, I made the zoom link: Join URL: https://zoom.us/j/642616404
I’ll get on in a couple hours to help kick things off, then I’m leaving it up to you guys to facilitate.
Does anyone have an agenda made? Do you guys want breakout rooms?

I am planning to make it:)

I think it’s better for us all to stay in the same room so we share our insights :slight_smile:

Hey @bilal, thank you for setting up the Zoom meeting link, we prefer to be in the same room. I have a draft schedule for the meeting and I can work on facilitating the discussions. I’m also open to alter the schedule as we see needed throughout the call.

Schedule:

  1. Ice Breaker (How everyone is doing)
  2. What are the problems in the current curriculum and why do we need to change it?
  3. What existing initiatives or projects (people in the meeting and outside) are working on to solve the above issues.
  4. What can we do collectively to accelerate this and help change the curriculum for the better and next steps?
2 Likes

Notes here from conversation: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aKQu7JETQ0R3ZbDkHynvvfgEjeFzo30nAJqTaSjvkv0/edit

2 Likes

Ooh you have already passed half the way, i enjoyed going through the references we have some additional topics to go through. We can discuss further through zoom meeting.
We are still at the 1st step but we have loads of ideas we can support you with and merge the 2 projects in one if you dont mind for sure.