Imagine you’re a school student in 2016: Do you want to leave school feeling prepared for a life of sitting exams? Or would you prefer to know how to innovate, how to solve problems, and how to think big? We think the answer’s simple, and we’ve already raved about the brilliant new Future School program at GEMS World Academy (GWA). But, we think it’s so impressive, we’re digging a little deeper! Join us for a peek inside the ‘Entrepreneurship’ pillar of GWA’s Future School…
Why is entrepreneurship a useful lesson? Sure, not everyone has aspirations of starting their own business, but there’s a huge amount of value in teaching kids creativity, leadership, ambition, problem solving, innovation… the list of positive entrepreneurial attributes is endless. The team at GEMS World Academy recognises this, along with the current gap in ‘real world’ learning in the education industry. As a result, the school has created a program that really is a first for Singapore education: this new initiative brings the spirit of entrepreneurship to students at GWA, and it’s no token effort – within the school curriculum, kids are given regular exposure to the principles of entrepreneurship as well as hands-on experience with the realities of the start-up world. The Entrepreneurship program at GEMS World Academy has two impressive features at its core:
A very slick Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre
To build a true entrepreneurial culture, you need a true entrepreneurial home! The school has created a co-working space for start-up and early stage businesses to work their magic while providing invaluable mentorship to the kids of GWA. This is serious business: the school has invested $1 million in a seed fund so that Ed Tech start-ups can build their ideas with the full support of the GEMS network and infrastructure. What this means for the students, parents and staff of GWA is regular, easy access to the people who are walking the entrepreneurial talk.
Internships (or externships!) and summer boot camps within the curriculum
Often, the best way to learn is to just jump right in and get your hands dirty! In that spirit, one of the core values of the entrepreneurship program at GWA is ‘learning by doing’. Students get to participate in shark tanks, externships and pitching competitions so they can truly immerse themselves in the mindset needed for life in the start-up world, with kids in grades six through to 11 doing an externship program every year (yes, every year!). They’ll take part in presentations and workshops, and bring their ideas to life with the help of those who’ve ridden the highs and lows of entrepreneurship and lived to tell the tale.
Ultimately, the aim of this trailblazing program is to build a culture of entrepreneurship throughout the school community, therefore building generations of young thinkers, leaders, and ‘doers’! As one of the first schools globally to integrate entrepreneurship into the curriculum (rather than as an add-on, as many schools around the world do), GEMS World Academy is proving itself as a forward-thinking, innovative, ‘Future School’.
This post is sponsored by GEMS World Academy.