The World is Changing. What about Schools: the Educational Gap Between What Schools Provide and What the Market Needs

The UAE education market size is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.55% between 2022 and 2027; moreover, the size of the market is forecasted to increase by USD 817.5 million. It is driven by the increasing focus on privatization in the sector which helps prepare the future generations in different aspects but also widens the gap between what is there and what needs to be there.

Crimson Education helps students to be tech-savvy and have data literacy, regardless of their future career paths. The consultancy’s importance is helping students identify their unique skills and interests, and exploring various career options by making structured choices on what to pursue. 


“One of the challenge I think students are facing, when deciding what to pursue in terms of their university studies, is the world is changing so fast that a lot of things are topics or content that’s taught are becoming redundant at a faster pace then before,” explained Madhav Juneja, Country Manager, Crimson Education.


“Being tech literate having data specific skills, those are optional. I don’t think those are optional now,” explains Madhav Juneja.

Madhav shared his experience with Crimson Education’s approach, which aims to provide a multifaceted education to students through internships and cross-disciplinary coursework to be able to bridge the educational gaps. 

The challenge is that the world is changing and that creates a major educational gap between what the schools provide and what the market needs. Which is why consultancies such as Crimson Education help those who want to highlight their skills to pursue their passion.


I think Tech literacy, data literacy is extremely important across careers. I think what we see right now, even I mean a little outside education. But you see this in the entrepreneurial world, when entrepreneurs are going and fundraising right now in the market, investors want to see evidence that they've actually used AI in the most optimal way to limit the size of their teams.
Madhav Juneja, Country Manager, Crimson Education
Madhav Juneja


The education market within the UAE is driven by the increasing focus on privatization in the sector which helps prepare the future generations in different aspects but that widens the gap between what is there and what needs to be there. 


The UAE Education market size is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.55% between 2022 and 2027; moreover, the size of the market is forecasted to increase by USD 817.5 million.

“A complete redesign of our fundamental curriculums is needed, moving away from high-stakes exams and more towards preparing students to thrive in an unpredictable and uncertain world,” said Russell Cailey, the Managing Director and Architect of the THINK Learning Studio (TLS).


The focus should be on fostering greater self-esteem and more applied learning through a project-meets-place-meets-portfolio approach. If this isn't achieved, alternative methods of schooling, such as online education, extracurricular programs like TKS, and homeschooling, will fill the void.
Russell Cailey, Managing Director and Architect of the THINK Learning Studio (TLS)
Russell Cailey


Cailey, like others, believes that it is important to move from reimagination to redesign. That would include “breaking free” from traditional subjects that may not be suitable for the modern world. That is by learning new technologies such as Genomics or Artificial Intelligence that can help in the future.


According to Russell Cailey, the traditional "classroom" concept will undergo an expansive transformation as people navigate towards a more progressive and inclusive education model. “I envision the creation of Transformation Zones, both physical and virtual, that could serve as hubs for dynamic and interactive learning experiences,” said. Various educational initiatives can co-exist in these Transformation Zones, much like brands in a supermarket or a department store, Russell said.


“Imagine a student spending the morning at an immersive Artificial Intelligence lab run by one school and then transitioning to a Genomics Think Tank managed by another in the afternoon. This "supermarket or megastore of learning" model allows for fluidity, where students are not just bound to one curriculum but can engage with a medley of skills and subjects,” explains Cailey.

By conglomerating major chains of alternative schools under a single, expansive space—physical, virtual, or a blend of both—schools can offer a more enriched and multifaceted learning experience equipped to address the complexities of the rapidly evolving world, he explains. That would be evident in settings that can  makes it easier for learners to integrate the transdisciplinary skills we discussed earlier, like how Bioinformatics Design blends biology, computer science, and IT.

“At THINK Learning Studio, we're already working on laying the foundation for these Transformation Zones in a soon-to-be-published White Paper, taking the initial steps to create environments where the future intersects with Design Thinking, transformation, and sustainability,” he said. 

Accordingly, students must be engaged in skills that help them learn about the future, methodology, and literacy, as well as how 'futures' intersect with areas such as Design Thinking, transformation, and sustainability.


There is a clear divide in employable skills vs. skills imparted in higher education. In an endeavor to expose an individual to various facets of learning, higher education institutions often have to sacrifice upskilling individuals on real-world skills that are actually sought by employers.
Hannan Moti, co-founder of iCodejr
Hannan Moti


Curating an effective learning program that helps bridge the gap between the two is the solution; an endeavor iCodejr is soon looking to take via its upcoming programs focused on graduates and working professionals. We plan to work with companies to curate a bespoke training program to help individuals get job-ready.


“The next area of growth is certainly in the domain of leveraging AI & Machine Learning for enhancing efficiencies and optimizing learning and business. While this is a new field to us currently, harnessing the power of AI is key at this juncture, and individuals who can effectively leverage its strengths stand to gain a competitive advantage,” added Moti.


The UAE government supports the private sector through various policies such as the National Strategy for Higher Education 2030 to achieve high scientific and professional education standards.

Moreover, there is a Private Sector Council to be set up to regulate the manpower needs of businesses and specify qualifications to work in higher education. Nonetheless, plans to provide career training programs to students, including on-campus work, job shadowing, vocational training, and joint ventures.


With the post-covid employment market being dominated by hybrid/remote-working models and the rise in organisations offering these working structures to attract and retain talent, employers have had to re-design how they manage their business and understand how to effectively manage a remote workforce while still driving performance and staff engagement.
Nathan Kearney, Managing Director, Executive Search
Nathan Kearney


Nathan Kearney explains that both HR professionals and business owners, the rise in workflow management CRMs, applications and AI integrations has enabled the simple and instant communication for members of staff within business. 

“The challenge now is, can the human element of recruiting, on-boarding and retaining employees (that do not have the human face to face interaction with each other that they did previously), maintain their company culture. Can everyone truly demonstrate and communicate their value-add and personalities on video interviews and calls? The answer will be a happy medium shaped around each organisations’ employees’ requirements and an exciting one that will lead us into a new era of business management, ultimately changing how all businesses operate,” explains Kearney.



September 2023

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