They say that the biggest of surprises can come from the smallest packages. And this is exactly what elementary school, Arcadia Preparatory, in Dubai is trying to harness from its little students.
A ‘Junior MBA’ program is being offered at The Arcadia Preparatory School for children as young as six-years old. It is being called the first entrepreneurship program in the region and aims to teach primary students how to create business plans. The course is based off of the first year syllabus of a general MBA degree and will cover business streams such as marketing, management, entreprenuership and finance. And we all know, to become successful, education is not enough, personality development and people skills also come into play. Activities to develop teamwork, presentation, public speaking and listening skills in these little kids are also inclusive in this course
This program is a product of a partnership with ‘7billionideas’, a UK-based ideas company that connects the 7billion people of the world with each other’s ideas. This company is a branch of ‘7billieducation’, whose goal is to inspire students to think big and provide them with the skills to make their dreams come to life.
You might think that it’s not possible for these tiny tots to study such a vast and detailed subject, one that many adults take 2-3 years to get a degree in. But Navin Valrani, CEO of Arcadia Preparatory School, thinks otherwise. He said “The Arcadia Junior MBA is designed to be an integral part of our ‘enrichment learning programme’ and will offer pupils the opportunity to create their own business plans. An initiative of this nature will plant the early seeds of entrepreneurship in the minds of young children and teach them how businesses can positively impact society.” He has also designed the programme as he graduated from two of the world’s leading business schools – Wharton School of Business and London Business School. Therefore students will get the chance to learn from his knowledge and experience.
One of the best examples, is eight year old Arwa. She has her mind set on fighting global hunger and wants to create a ‘never-ending food machine’. “I see kids getting hungry so I thought of coming up with a device that when you shake it, voila, food will come out!” said Arwa, who has roots in Kenya. Another student plans to create a self-cleaning toilet, one that eliminates all odour by itself.
The CEO also said: “Parents will also have workshops designed specifically for them. We really aim to get everybody from the Arcadia family involved”. He added: “New possibilities will be explored and none of us yet know what the children will come up with, which really is all part of the excitement!”
The school has also become digitized; swapping books for Ipads and blackboards for smartboards. They are also planning to become an ‘Apple distinguished’ school, which means that they want an all-Apple platform to educate their students.
Children might not have the experience of age on their side, but they are known to pick up things quickly. Especially in this day and age, toddlers know how to use Ipads and smartphones whereas 10 years ago, that same toddler would probably be playing with his or her legos. The school is essentially trying to use the fresh and young minds of children in a constructive manner, making this program worth the investment. This program is only available to students of Arcadia Preparatory School, and this program will set a positive tone for future education and skill development in young children.