Fire Tech, which offers technology-focused courses for children and teenagers on subjects like coding, robotics and even Minecraft, is offering 15,000 students in Oman and 5,000 students in the UK free Python lessons in both Arabic and English.
The 25-hour curriculum includes instruction on flying simulated drones, creating chatbots, designing smart cities and coding video games.
“This has been an opportunity for us to expand”
“We started working with Oman in 2018 as an academic partner to the National Youth Programme for Skills Development,” explained Fire Teach CEO, Jill Hodges.
“At that time we ran a very prestigious residential to teach digital communications, hardware, design and coding to 200 students. They wanted to run something new for 2020 and we agreed on an online Python Programming learning experience for 15,000 of their students.”
Like many others in the space, Fire Tech has shifted to purely online learning over and in the last three weeks alone taught over 500 online classes.
Hodges said she is encouraging agents to partner with more online schools as a way of helping to weather the havoc coronavirus is wreaking on the sector.
Tensions between agents, students and language schools regarding refunds for in-person classes that are now being delivered online is ongoing.
“We’ve gotten great feedback from parents, who need some structure so they can work, and kids, who love seeing online education that’s engaging and fun,” Hodges continued.
“This has been an opportunity for us to expand and make our courses available to more people both geographically and financially. We’d been testing some initiatives to use blended learning to create some lower price point courses and the current environment was a very strong catalyst to accelerate that.
“We are working with groups from around Europe, plus India and Asia to set up times and in some cases custom groups that work for them.”