The Mama Podcast

07. What is the school of the future? With Saif Sarwar, Director of Education. Invictus Learning Center

September 01, 2020 Sumayya Sarwar
The Mama Podcast
07. What is the school of the future? With Saif Sarwar, Director of Education. Invictus Learning Center
Show Notes Transcript

Like the world around us, education is changing.

In this episode I am joined by Saif Sarwar, Director of education at Invictus Learning Center. Saif shares how the education system is changing and how we can use this opportunity to adapt and prepare our children for the future by becoming empathetic, creative and confident individuals.

Invictus learning website, contact: info@invictuslearningcenter.com. @invictuslearningdxb


We love hearing from you, contact us, email: hello@mymamaapp.com

Download the Mama ME app on Apple or Android, Find the links on the website
www.mymamaapp.com

Social media: @mymamaapp




Intro music: www.bensound.com

0:00:00.240,0:00:04.720

hi mama you're listening to the mama

podcast it's sumayya here the co-founder


0:00:04.720,0:00:09.200

of mama ME app

mama me is the first app to exclusively


0:00:09.200,0:00:12.160

connect mothers

across the middle east connect with


0:00:12.160,0:00:15.440

like-minded mamas and create lifelong

friendships


0:00:15.440,0:00:19.439

at mama we are all about connecting

mamas to empower women


0:00:19.439,0:00:22.880

so let's join together and make this

mission a reality


0:00:22.880,0:00:26.240

today we are talking about education it

has


0:00:26.240,0:00:31.279

all changed and as parents it is so

confusing as to what the best thing to


0:00:31.279,0:00:35.280

do for our children

blended learning is the brand new


0:00:35.280,0:00:38.399

concept

of education and we'll be talking about


0:00:38.399,0:00:44.079

that in a lot more detail today

i am joined by the incredible save sarwa


0:00:44.079,0:00:47.120

and i'm

so proud to call him my brother-in-law


0:00:47.120,0:00:51.039

he's making some real changes in the

education sector and i'm so excited to


0:00:51.039,0:00:55.680

bring this conversation to you

welcome save to the mama podcast i'm so


0:00:55.680,0:00:59.199

excited to have you

thanks so much for having me on samaya


0:00:59.199,0:01:03.680

sausage tell me

about invictus um invictus is a


0:01:03.680,0:01:07.600

i think an exciting addition to the

uae's educational landscape


0:01:07.600,0:01:10.799

and we really do three things first of

which is an online


0:01:10.799,0:01:14.560

education for high school age students

second of all we do


0:01:14.560,0:01:19.280

bespoke tutoring programs and academic

support and extracurricular activities


0:01:19.280,0:01:22.159

that focus on personal and academic

development


0:01:22.159,0:01:25.920

so we'll get into all of those in more

detail in a second but i just want to


0:01:25.920,0:01:28.799

touch on

your background and i want you to tell


0:01:28.799,0:01:31.280

me and the listeners a bit more about

you


0:01:31.280,0:01:34.720

and what got you to getting involved in

this


0:01:34.720,0:01:38.799

uh as you know samaya i was born in

dubai


0:01:38.799,0:01:43.680

i lived here for 18 years i went to

jabal ali primary school the school on


0:01:43.680,0:01:47.040

the hill

when it was first established and as you


0:01:47.040,0:01:50.960

know my mum was a teacher there

and probably since then i think i've


0:01:50.960,0:01:55.600

been interested in education and

in particular the way education is is


0:01:55.600,0:01:59.520

practiced in in the middle east as a

kind of


0:01:59.520,0:02:03.040

third country for for most people who

live there


0:02:03.040,0:02:06.560

and uh yeah all the way through high

school i decided to get involved in


0:02:06.560,0:02:11.680

um in teaching in different forms i was

a guitar teacher when i was about 15 or


0:02:11.680,0:02:16.080

16 and then i got into um football

coaching a few years later


0:02:16.080,0:02:19.840

and then i just carried on the journey

getting involved in classrooms


0:02:19.840,0:02:23.680

in manchester in vietnam and in dubai as

well


0:02:23.680,0:02:28.080

and i think the culmination of that is

is my work with invictus which i think


0:02:28.080,0:02:31.599

ties together a few things that i think

are missing from the uae's


0:02:31.599,0:02:35.360

educational landscape so over the last

few years you've specifically been


0:02:35.360,0:02:39.440

working with

teenagers and young adults and going


0:02:39.440,0:02:45.440

through their a levels or

ib so um


0:02:45.440,0:02:49.120

yeah so i guess you've learned a lot

about that kind of age range and what


0:02:49.120,0:02:53.599

they've been experiencing

in the dubai high school and before


0:02:53.599,0:02:58.239

obviously lockdown happened um and

since then you've still been working you


0:02:58.239,0:03:02.000

ha you did work with them over the

lockdown period as well so i'm sure you


0:03:02.000,0:03:05.840

got a lot of insight into what they were

experiencing from


0:03:05.840,0:03:09.360

a personal perspective not just from an

education perspective


0:03:09.360,0:03:13.599

can you shed a bit more light on to how

your experience was over that time


0:03:13.599,0:03:16.640

absolutely i mean it was a really

challenging time i think for


0:03:16.640,0:03:21.760

for my students um i was a

private tutor um in dubai in that in


0:03:21.760,0:03:26.080

that time period and so

initially it was it was very up in the


0:03:26.080,0:03:29.840

air as to whether there was going to be

exams and so all of our preparation


0:03:29.840,0:03:34.959

in the lead-up to exams was

really quite challenging and i saw the


0:03:34.959,0:03:38.080

psychological pressures on on our young

people which was


0:03:38.080,0:03:42.480

um yeah a challenge to see and that was

one thing that really stuck with me and


0:03:42.480,0:03:47.599

i thought there wasn't

adequate assistance really from from


0:03:47.599,0:03:51.760

the schools it's not really a criticism

i just think it was something


0:03:51.760,0:03:56.080

um unprecedented as we've heard a

million times over the last few months


0:03:56.080,0:04:03.680

um but i think it was really the role of

um tutors and external educators to


0:04:03.680,0:04:10.640

to put the minds of our young people

at ease once it was announced that there


0:04:10.640,0:04:14.799

would be no

summer exams it was really a sort of


0:04:14.799,0:04:20.320

damp squid in a way um because

students had been revising for two years


0:04:20.320,0:04:24.400

for these exams and

they weren't able to do them so that was


0:04:24.400,0:04:28.000

the

most important thing was to manage their


0:04:28.000,0:04:31.759

expectations and

and manage their psychological states


0:04:31.759,0:04:35.600

really and keep them active

academically knowing that they wouldn't


0:04:35.600,0:04:40.800

have to sit in the exams

and the anxiety they must have felt with


0:04:40.800,0:04:44.880

that as well because

change is something that most humans


0:04:44.880,0:04:48.560

struggle with

um funnily enough i was talking about


0:04:48.560,0:04:52.880

expectations with

a friend of mine earlier today and it's


0:04:52.880,0:04:55.120

really interesting that they're having

to deal with


0:04:55.120,0:04:59.600

this of reassessing their expectations

at such a young age because i think


0:04:59.600,0:05:02.240

going forward it will probably prepare

them


0:05:02.240,0:05:07.199

for um much bigger changes in that

that's coming in their life


0:05:07.199,0:05:11.520

i think sometimes you think that the

world is so challenging at the age of 18


0:05:11.520,0:05:14.720

or 16 and then

you learn as an adult that you know it


0:05:14.720,0:05:17.440

was just such a small part of what life

is


0:05:17.440,0:05:21.199

absolutely and i think it's it's

difficult to get perspective when you're


0:05:21.199,0:05:25.600

17 or 18 and so

this is really the gap that i've noticed


0:05:25.600,0:05:28.800

in in general in education that there

isn't this kind of


0:05:28.800,0:05:33.120

there isn't much significance placed on

enhancing the perspective of our young


0:05:33.120,0:05:35.440

people

they're caught up with their personal


0:05:35.440,0:05:38.639

relationships with their

worries about where they're going to


0:05:38.639,0:05:42.320

university and

all of that seems so monumental at the


0:05:42.320,0:05:49.199

time and while it is important obviously

i think there is a need to


0:05:49.199,0:05:53.440

provide students with the i with with

the knowledge that everything will


0:05:53.440,0:05:57.840

probably be okay really going to be

interesting to see what happens over the


0:05:57.840,0:06:00.720

next year

or two especially since coming out of


0:06:00.720,0:06:04.000

lockdown i think a lot of these

institutions will reassess


0:06:04.000,0:06:07.520

how they do things and how they prepare

the children


0:06:07.520,0:06:11.600

and young adults for the future and i

think this has been discussed for so


0:06:11.600,0:06:13.840

long now

it's something that comes up over and


0:06:13.840,0:06:19.840

over again about how we're preparing

our future generation for the future


0:06:19.840,0:06:23.600

i mean this is where invictus comes in

because this is sort of an online


0:06:23.600,0:06:26.400

platform so i think it'll be great to

talk about whether you think


0:06:26.400,0:06:30.639

homeschooling is the way forward

and what your opinion and how invictus


0:06:30.639,0:06:33.440

sees that going forward

this has been something i've been


0:06:33.440,0:06:37.919

thinking about for for quite some time

i mean and it's been more emphasized in


0:06:37.919,0:06:41.120

this

situation that we don't really know what


0:06:41.120,0:06:45.360

the future is going to be like

this has taught us this and let alone


0:06:45.360,0:06:48.560

what's

what the next 5 ten or fifty years are


0:06:48.560,0:06:52.560

going to be like i mean leia

um is going to be retiring in about 50


0:06:52.560,0:06:56.800

years

uh hopefully and we have absolutely no


0:06:56.800,0:06:58.960

clue

what the world is going to be like and


0:06:58.960,0:07:01.599

yet we're meant to be educating our

children


0:07:01.599,0:07:06.720

with that 50-year timeline in mind so it

all seems a little bit strange to me


0:07:06.720,0:07:10.880

that we're

locked into these very


0:07:10.880,0:07:16.400

conservative and unchanging models of

education and i think online education


0:07:16.400,0:07:20.639

is is

at least a step in the direction of


0:07:20.639,0:07:23.360

change and i think that change is

necessary there is


0:07:23.360,0:07:27.199

fundamental change needed to our

education system and so


0:07:27.199,0:07:31.360

one of our key services if you like is

this online education which is


0:07:31.360,0:07:36.000

supplemented by what we call a blended

approach where we have in-person


0:07:36.000,0:07:41.759

activities

that support a kind of fully online high


0:07:41.759,0:07:45.840

school education so what that means

is that student attends the lesson


0:07:45.840,0:07:49.599

online and they have a

teacher that they can that facilitates


0:07:49.599,0:07:54.000

that lesson who's on video

what they can do or the blended aspect


0:07:54.000,0:07:56.879

of it is

after class they might consult their


0:07:56.879,0:08:01.280

personal tutor who

has a very personalized development plan


0:08:01.280,0:08:06.160

about their strengths their weaknesses

and this is meant to help their overall


0:08:06.160,0:08:09.440

development it's not meant to


0:08:09.599,0:08:15.680

criticize them for not doing things

correctly it's not meant to


0:08:15.680,0:08:20.560

stifle their creativity it's

it's a very very personal and


0:08:20.560,0:08:26.000

individualized approach which i think

can only really be captured through this


0:08:26.000,0:08:29.840

blended

model and in addition to that


0:08:29.840,0:08:33.039

out what we do outside the classroom is

also essential


0:08:33.039,0:08:36.320

and that's why we've come up with these

what i think are quite unique


0:08:36.320,0:08:40.000

co-curricular activities add more

strings to the bow of our young


0:08:40.000,0:08:44.000

people i think that's really what's

missing as well if i'm a student here


0:08:44.000,0:08:47.600

how personalized would my experience be

and how would you personalize that


0:08:47.600,0:08:50.320

experience

you know when we come into our


0:08:50.320,0:08:53.839

professional lives

we're acutely aware that our personal


0:08:53.839,0:08:58.000

development is something that we should

be aware of and something we need to


0:08:58.000,0:09:01.920

work on perpetually

this string of self-development podcasts


0:09:01.920,0:09:06.000

that we see

are evidence of that and yet at school


0:09:06.000,0:09:10.800

it's rare we hear this word

um and possibly that has to do with the


0:09:10.800,0:09:14.320

fact that we have

1 to 20 ratios in the classroom and it's


0:09:14.320,0:09:19.360

very difficult to give children

a personalized


0:09:20.839,0:09:25.519

education the fact remains though that

education isn't one size fits all and so


0:09:25.519,0:09:30.240

it really just makes sense to have a

a personal plan for each child and so if


0:09:30.240,0:09:32.880

a child were to

enroll at invictus learning center for


0:09:32.880,0:09:37.760

their online education

they first of all go through a process


0:09:37.760,0:09:42.240

whereby we do

diagnostic tests we have long-form


0:09:42.240,0:09:44.880

interviews we listen to uh to our

children


0:09:44.880,0:09:47.839

what they want to do what they feel

they're good at what they feel they're


0:09:47.839,0:09:52.640

terrible at

where they want to be and so on


0:09:52.640,0:09:55.760

along with other personality tests and

the like


0:09:55.760,0:09:59.120

and based on that we build a very

personalized plan


0:09:59.120,0:10:02.839

and with this plan it's not just for

show it


0:10:02.839,0:10:07.440

informs every decision and every part of

their education so


0:10:07.440,0:10:14.399

let's say for example um somebody has

a learning difficulty or they are a


0:10:14.399,0:10:18.000

kinesthetic learner and they like to

touch and feel things and move


0:10:18.000,0:10:21.200

around while they're learning well then

we'll integrate that into their learning


0:10:21.200,0:10:27.040

there's no point um having somebody who

can't learn a certain way and trying to


0:10:27.040,0:10:30.079

ram that way of learning down their

throat i'm sure we've all been there


0:10:30.079,0:10:32.000

when we're trying to revise something

and it's just


0:10:32.000,0:10:38.240

not working for us so we really try to

personalize education based on the


0:10:38.240,0:10:40.320

individual which seems to make sense to

me


0:10:40.320,0:10:45.920

i mean absolutely i think just in my

close circle of friends at school we all


0:10:45.920,0:10:48.640

learn

in such a different way yet we all went


0:10:48.640,0:10:52.959

to the same

classes taught by the same teacher and


0:10:52.959,0:10:56.000

it was such a blanket approach to

teaching


0:10:56.000,0:11:00.480

which was i'll stand at the front and

teach you and talk to you and talk at


0:11:00.480,0:11:03.120

you

um i actually had a very different


0:11:03.120,0:11:05.839

experience going through university

because


0:11:05.839,0:11:09.279

university exposed me to a slightly

different form of learning


0:11:09.279,0:11:12.880

which is where i came into sort of

learning that there's different methods


0:11:12.880,0:11:15.360

of learning and different methods of

teaching


0:11:15.360,0:11:19.440

and it's really interesting that you

integrate this into someone's learning


0:11:19.440,0:11:22.800

do how do you test that this is one

beneficial for them


0:11:22.800,0:11:28.720

and actually is it working and

do you then say a month later realize


0:11:28.720,0:11:32.000

that maybe this isn't the right method

of teaching for this child and does that


0:11:32.000,0:11:34.079

change

i think our learning styles change over


0:11:34.079,0:11:38.959

time that's for sure

but since we're each very different


0:11:38.959,0:11:45.519

we do have certain inflections

that don't change and so we'll continue


0:11:45.519,0:11:49.440

to do sort of

monthly or termly learning style tests


0:11:49.440,0:11:52.639

to

identify these nuances so yeah we'll


0:11:52.639,0:11:56.160

keep

a very close watch in our students and


0:11:56.160,0:12:00.079

monitor the way that they learn and as

well as monitor their results


0:12:00.079,0:12:04.160

that's kind of where we are different to

everybody else


0:12:04.160,0:12:07.680

i think corvid has taught us that an

online


0:12:07.680,0:12:11.360

curriculum is something that can be

easily implemented


0:12:11.360,0:12:15.600

of course there's the element of having

someone watching over your child if


0:12:15.600,0:12:18.320

they're at home

all the time and parents have to work or


0:12:18.320,0:12:24.000

go to an office

with that being said how do you feel i


0:12:24.000,0:12:26.639

mean

there must be a downside to children


0:12:26.639,0:12:29.680

being homeschooled

in terms of they're not in a school


0:12:29.680,0:12:32.320

setting they're not seeing other

children


0:12:32.320,0:12:35.279

the thing that i've seen over the last

couple of weeks is parents are really


0:12:35.279,0:12:38.240

and children are really excited about

going back to school because they're


0:12:38.240,0:12:43.440

going to see their friends

from from the research is that our


0:12:43.440,0:12:47.360

social and cognitive development can be

impacted by disassociation or


0:12:47.360,0:12:51.360

disconnection with other children so

we've had a long think about this and


0:12:51.360,0:12:55.839

i think the best way around this or the

best way to


0:12:55.839,0:13:01.839

deal with this issue is to have online

home school in a collective setting so


0:13:01.839,0:13:04.639

we

the learning centre have an open plan


0:13:04.639,0:13:09.120

space where children can come

in and do their home school from our


0:13:09.120,0:13:12.560

center so they're not they don't

necessarily have to be at home um and


0:13:12.560,0:13:16.160

this tackles this feeling of perhaps

alienation that children might feel if


0:13:16.160,0:13:18.079

they're just sitting in their laptop at

home


0:13:18.079,0:13:21.120

um and then second of all we we have

this


0:13:21.120,0:13:24.880

focus on after-school co-curricular

activities and that's really where we


0:13:24.880,0:13:28.959

address this

this problem of socialization and social


0:13:28.959,0:13:32.880

development which i think is essential

um even in this world where everything's


0:13:32.880,0:13:37.120

on zoom anyway this is really um

at the heart of of our educational


0:13:37.120,0:13:41.360

philosophy this idea that we need to

prepare our children for their futures


0:13:41.360,0:13:45.760

with soft skills it's a really it's a

big shame that they're even called soft


0:13:45.760,0:13:48.720

skills because as you know these are the

skills that are critical


0:13:48.720,0:13:54.320

they are the skills that make people um

pursue their dreams and invent things


0:13:54.320,0:13:57.199

and be innovative and unlock their kind

of


0:13:57.199,0:14:01.199

their human potential so we'll get into

those those activities because i'm


0:14:01.199,0:14:05.199

really really excited

about them um but that's how we address


0:14:05.199,0:14:09.760

that problem if you like of

social disconnection so i guess it's a


0:14:09.760,0:14:13.519

bit like a cool

working space but for students that's a


0:14:13.519,0:14:15.360

really good point actually yeah it is

like


0:14:15.360,0:14:19.920

we work yeah but for students i mean if

i was a 15 year old that would be a


0:14:19.920,0:14:23.279

pretty exciting place to go to for sure

absolutely i remember when i first got


0:14:23.279,0:14:27.120

to university it was

quite exhilarating that you could go to


0:14:27.120,0:14:30.320

a kind of

class or a seminar and then everybody's


0:14:30.320,0:14:33.920

still talking about it

afterwards you know the conversation


0:14:33.920,0:14:38.000

spills out of the lecture hall

into the cafe everyone continues


0:14:38.000,0:14:41.600

discussing the topic and

from my perspective that's where a lot


0:14:41.600,0:14:44.560

of the learning takes place through

dialogue and discourse


0:14:44.560,0:14:48.320

whereas in the classroom well maybe this

is just for me but i was told to


0:14:48.320,0:14:51.839

zip it and conversations were meant to

be kept to a minimum


0:14:51.839,0:14:55.600

whereas we want to encourage that kind

of group dialogue


0:14:55.600,0:14:58.560

and discourse because i think that's

really where all the fun and all the


0:14:58.560,0:15:01.440

learning takes place


0:15:02.000,0:15:05.839

yeah and that's where we sort of

developed those soft skills which you


0:15:05.839,0:15:09.360

mentioned

so i think as a parent it is really


0:15:09.360,0:15:12.639

important for me

to raise my daughter having these soft


0:15:12.639,0:15:16.480

skills i would like her

to be empathetic to understand her


0:15:16.480,0:15:19.839

emotions to

be able to co-create with other people


0:15:19.839,0:15:23.680

and you know

be able to work in a team and not just


0:15:23.680,0:15:26.160

focus on

the academics and i know this isn't the


0:15:26.160,0:15:28.959

case for all parents and i appreciate

that


0:15:28.959,0:15:33.199

parents come from a different

perspective um but let's say that is


0:15:33.199,0:15:37.519

a priority for a parent and that's what

they want their child to learn


0:15:37.519,0:15:41.360

this is the thing that really sort of

sets invictus apart from


0:15:41.360,0:15:45.839

a traditional schooling system so i'd

love for you to sort of


0:15:45.839,0:15:49.920

tell me about this more in detail and

actually tell me what the advantages


0:15:49.920,0:15:54.000

of um all these core curriculums love to

a lot of it is really based


0:15:54.000,0:15:57.440

off one of my heroes and he was one of

my mom's heroes as well


0:15:57.440,0:16:02.560

um sir ken robinson who recently

unfortunately passed but he was a


0:16:02.560,0:16:06.560

fascinating educator who had he really

took the world by storm with his ted


0:16:06.560,0:16:11.120

talk i'm sure you've seen and lots of

lots of others have enjoyed um and he


0:16:11.120,0:16:13.680

really says that creativity is as

important


0:16:13.680,0:16:16.800

as literacy that might seem quite

controversial


0:16:16.800,0:16:20.240

but what he means is that our kids have

this tremendous talent and we sort of


0:16:20.240,0:16:25.680

squander them

by boxing them into academic


0:16:25.680,0:16:29.360

subjects and academic disciplines i'm

not knocking academia i've


0:16:29.360,0:16:33.440

just received my master's diploma in the

post


0:16:33.440,0:16:37.600

and i intend to carry on my education

too but what what he means by this and


0:16:37.600,0:16:41.920

what we mean

by these co-curricular activities which


0:16:41.920,0:16:46.320

are based on this principle

is that the lengths and the the depths


0:16:46.320,0:16:50.320

of human potential are not quite

captured by what is in books


0:16:50.320,0:16:54.800

and uh innovation and creativity has to

flow


0:16:54.800,0:16:57.839

from other sources and it has to has to

be


0:16:57.839,0:17:01.759

stimuli for children to express

themselves creatively


0:17:01.759,0:17:05.839

so that's all great theoretically but

what do we actually do


0:17:05.839,0:17:08.880

to to ignite and spark those eureka

moments


0:17:08.880,0:17:12.240

well first things first we do we have

this


0:17:12.240,0:17:15.760

fantastic organization that we're trying

to build


0:17:15.760,0:17:19.600

called dubai debate society we go into

schools and


0:17:19.600,0:17:24.079

train children in the basics of

communication and debating


0:17:24.079,0:17:28.240

this is really based on the idea that we

need to be able to express


0:17:28.240,0:17:31.360

ourselves and we need to be able to

communicate as


0:17:31.360,0:17:35.200

we're doing right now and it's extremely

difficult to master that


0:17:35.200,0:17:40.799

art and most adults you talk to have

issues with communication that's partly


0:17:40.799,0:17:44.640

because

there isn't a lesson about communication


0:17:44.640,0:17:47.360

in school

we might have presentations i remember


0:17:47.360,0:17:50.160

trying to

get out of them or used to stuff my


0:17:50.160,0:17:52.400

hands in my pockets and kind of mumble

something


0:17:52.400,0:17:56.400

but we want to have a fresh approach to

all of this and


0:17:56.400,0:18:00.240

teach our children the fundamentals of

communication


0:18:00.240,0:18:05.200

and listening active listening

and that's where empathy comes from and


0:18:05.200,0:18:09.600

that's where great ideas as part of a

group comes from


0:18:09.600,0:18:13.440

as well as that we have a innovators

challenge


0:18:13.440,0:18:17.039

where we're trying to unlock innovation

in our young people


0:18:17.039,0:18:21.360

we often speak about the um the

difficulties of starting businesses


0:18:21.360,0:18:24.720

and exciting new businesses in the

market but


0:18:24.720,0:18:28.160

that's something that comes very very

late to people these great ideas


0:18:28.160,0:18:32.880

and we think that

children should be given the opportunity


0:18:32.880,0:18:37.600

to develop a startup or to take a

product to market


0:18:37.600,0:18:41.679

i think children are extremely creative

and


0:18:41.679,0:18:45.760

that's why i mentioned ken robinson he

says that schools kill our creativity


0:18:45.760,0:18:52.240

and so if we allow them the platform to

go on canva and design a marketing


0:18:52.240,0:18:55.520

leaflet for this

fantastic sustainable project product


0:18:55.520,0:18:59.039

that they designed

why not put it on etsy or why not put it


0:18:59.039,0:19:03.760

on a website where they can sell it

that's what that co-curricular activity


0:19:03.760,0:19:08.480

is about

and then of course we have a what we


0:19:08.480,0:19:11.200

like to call

our inspiration evenings where we try to


0:19:11.200,0:19:14.720

get a kind of diversity of professionals

to talk


0:19:14.720,0:19:18.400

um to young people about what they do so

we might have you come in


0:19:18.400,0:19:22.240

talk about your transition from

dentistry to entrepreneurship


0:19:22.240,0:19:27.520

we might have um my brother and your

husband sal come in to talk about his


0:19:27.520,0:19:33.679

um transition from his working

transition from one sector to another


0:19:33.679,0:19:37.440

and so on

what this tries to address is the


0:19:37.440,0:19:41.200

problem

of young people not knowing what jobs


0:19:41.200,0:19:47.919

are out there and what they can do

and our seminars and workshops on these


0:19:47.919,0:19:55.440

careers evenings should help children

yeah i mean that's a really interesting


0:19:55.440,0:19:59.520

point because

i decided on my career at the age of 18


0:19:59.520,0:20:01.679

world champ the world changed a lot

through


0:20:01.679,0:20:06.400

our sort of growth and our upbringing

and i don't feel


0:20:06.400,0:20:10.640

school really prepared you for what was

going to change and how it was going to


0:20:10.640,0:20:13.360

change and what kind of skills you

actually had


0:20:13.360,0:20:16.720

and i think that's really important to

address


0:20:16.720,0:20:20.159

now going forward because if we could

bring those mentors


0:20:20.159,0:20:24.559

into these children's lives at an

earlier age then maybe we could


0:20:24.559,0:20:28.400

access those the potential a much

younger age and i think that's something


0:20:28.400,0:20:32.799

that you do as well with mentorship

and it's really interesting to hear you


0:20:32.799,0:20:36.159

absolutely and this is

strangely i've found something that


0:20:36.159,0:20:40.640

doesn't feature again in our

general education system when you go


0:20:40.640,0:20:46.480

into professional

life having a mentor is normal


0:20:46.480,0:20:51.120

whereas at school you seldom meet

somebody from outside the schooling


0:20:51.120,0:20:54.640

system who

unlocks something within you that's


0:20:54.640,0:20:59.039

really what i

define a mentor as someone who can see


0:20:59.039,0:21:02.559

something in you that you might not know

about yet


0:21:02.559,0:21:05.919

and that's i think such an incredibly

powerful thing especially as a young


0:21:05.919,0:21:10.480

person to be told

that you're fantastic at


0:21:10.480,0:21:13.840

dreaming these big ideas and you could

actually design something that's going


0:21:13.840,0:21:16.720

to change the world one day

you know can you if you can imagine


0:21:16.720,0:21:23.120

being told that as a 17 18 year old

um well you might have egomania


0:21:23.120,0:21:29.440

egomania after that but what it will

generally do is unlock something in you


0:21:29.440,0:21:33.120

and

motivate and inspire you to be the best


0:21:33.120,0:21:38.480

person you can be and that's what i see

as a mentor and it just seems


0:21:38.480,0:21:44.679

like such a such an obvious thing to

partner children or young people up with


0:21:44.679,0:21:49.039

non-teachers

non-educators and open their eyes to


0:21:49.039,0:21:56.880

a diversity of careers or diversity of

fields that they possibly are unaware of


0:21:56.880,0:22:00.080

you know you become an adult you get

into this corporate environment and you


0:22:00.080,0:22:03.039

look for a mentor and you find a mentor

to help support you


0:22:03.039,0:22:06.240

and i guess if you've been exposed to

that from such a young age then it's


0:22:06.240,0:22:09.120

something that you will

work towards very quickly and you'll


0:22:09.120,0:22:12.000

know the potential that that can give

you from a very very


0:22:12.000,0:22:16.320

young age without you know having to

learn that in your mid-20s or your 30s


0:22:16.320,0:22:18.640

which is

generally what seems to be happening


0:22:18.640,0:22:21.760

absolutely and i know i referred to

these like self-development podcasts


0:22:21.760,0:22:25.919

before

that gets awakened in us in the


0:22:25.919,0:22:32.000

millennial generation in our twenties

if we have a generation of


0:22:32.000,0:22:35.760

self-reflective

self-developmental young people can you


0:22:35.760,0:22:38.000

imagine

where they're going to be when they're


0:22:38.000,0:22:44.240

25 to 30 and

i think what we have now is a remarkable


0:22:44.240,0:22:49.200

opportunity

in light of our own journeys as


0:22:49.200,0:22:54.080

development

as self-developing individuals to pass


0:22:54.080,0:22:57.440

the baton on to our younger generation

and allow them


0:22:57.440,0:23:00.480

the opportunity to think about what

they're good at


0:23:00.480,0:23:04.799

what they want to do and give them a

path to get there


0:23:04.799,0:23:09.679

that's just seems really really

important i think


0:23:09.679,0:23:12.799

yeah i mean i i definitely agree with

that and


0:23:12.799,0:23:17.200

i think if we could bring that

generation into that sort of wider


0:23:17.200,0:23:19.600

thinking

i'm sure as the generation if if they


0:23:19.600,0:23:22.640

are sort of growing to think outside of

the box and they are learning that these


0:23:22.640,0:23:25.520

other skills

university and time will change as well


0:23:25.520,0:23:29.840

and obviously it's

a bit of a knock-on effect um


0:23:29.840,0:23:33.120

one thing that did come up as you were

talking then was


0:23:33.120,0:23:37.600

the fact of impostor syndrome now i know

this is a really


0:23:37.600,0:23:41.039

you probably don't have the answer to

this but i'm really interested to hear


0:23:41.039,0:23:44.400

what your thoughts are on imposter

syndrome because


0:23:44.400,0:23:48.000

it's such a big thing that we all deal

with


0:23:48.000,0:23:53.120

this sort of self-criticism and like not

believing or thinking that we


0:23:53.120,0:23:56.720

can do it or we have the skill set to do

it and i feel that


0:23:56.720,0:23:59.760

just that thing that you mentioned about

if you had a mentor that told you you


0:23:59.760,0:24:04.320

had those skills

from the age of 14 15 then i'm sure


0:24:04.320,0:24:07.520

imposter syndrome will be something of

the past i certainly hope so this is


0:24:07.520,0:24:11.279

something i have thought about and

you do hear a lot about it on these


0:24:11.279,0:24:14.960

podcasts about

entrepreneurs and startups and things


0:24:14.960,0:24:19.279

like that and i think you're right it is

it emerges from a kind of self-doubt


0:24:19.279,0:24:24.799

that we you know we all have

but you're right we can put that


0:24:24.799,0:24:27.760

self-doubt into perspective if we have

the right tools


0:24:27.760,0:24:31.120

and often we don't have those tools

because nobody's told us


0:24:31.120,0:24:35.039

by the way everybody feels like a bit of

an imposter at some stage


0:24:35.039,0:24:42.400

but you've got this and strangely

it is this giant phenomenon


0:24:42.400,0:24:46.159

particularly in people who are

successful and that makes you


0:24:46.159,0:24:49.760

wonder if there's a systemic problem

with


0:24:49.760,0:24:57.120

individual self-worth and

self-reflection so i think if we


0:24:57.120,0:25:01.440

have a kind of mentorship program where

children have to reflect on their


0:25:01.440,0:25:06.720

strengths and weaknesses

perpetually then anytime you have that


0:25:06.720,0:25:10.159

little flicker of doubt about

whether you're whether you're an


0:25:10.159,0:25:14.720

imposter you can refer back

to your uh your notes really and your


0:25:14.720,0:25:19.039

mental

history of um that's going to emphasize


0:25:19.039,0:25:22.240

to you that actually

you're not an imposter and you've got


0:25:22.240,0:25:26.400

this

you've got the ability to to succeed


0:25:26.400,0:25:28.960

you've got the ability to excel but i'm

interested


0:25:28.960,0:25:33.360

if you've ever felt impossible imposter

syndrome because you seem so confident


0:25:33.360,0:25:36.480

you seem so competent

and obviously in your career as a


0:25:36.480,0:25:39.840

dentist you've got a

certification on the wall that says you


0:25:39.840,0:25:44.640

can do the job do you ever go in there

and feel like an impostor


0:25:44.720,0:25:49.840

um interestingly i think i think yeah i

think everyone to a degree does


0:25:49.840,0:25:55.840

um imposter syndrome definitely in the

early years of being a dentist for sure


0:25:55.840,0:26:00.320

um but i don't know if that's because

of you're still building confidence i'm


0:26:00.320,0:26:04.400

not quite sure

but as building a business and becoming


0:26:04.400,0:26:06.799

an entrepreneur for sure you feel a lot

of


0:26:06.799,0:26:10.720

imposter syndrome and i think that's why

i'm more aware of it now as well because


0:26:10.720,0:26:12.960

i've done

some research and it's apparently very


0:26:12.960,0:26:16.480

common in women too

um i think you touched on something


0:26:16.480,0:26:18.320

really important there where you said

that


0:26:18.320,0:26:21.520

you know it's about knowing your

strengths and weaknesses and i think


0:26:21.520,0:26:25.039

sometimes

especially in the education system


0:26:25.039,0:26:28.320

traditional education system and the

education system we went through it's


0:26:28.320,0:26:31.279

very much focusing on

what you do well but less about what


0:26:31.279,0:26:35.039

your weaknesses are

and so now building a business it's


0:26:35.039,0:26:38.640

really important to actually know and

acknowledge that look i'm not so good at


0:26:38.640,0:26:41.520

this but there is somebody else that's

way better at


0:26:41.520,0:26:45.919

that than me and that's the person that

needs to be exactly exactly


0:26:45.919,0:26:49.440

you you really hit an important point

there samaya where you say that the


0:26:49.440,0:26:54.240

education system

chastises us or demonizes failure


0:26:54.240,0:26:59.279

when all you hear when you go into

business or into work is how


0:26:59.279,0:27:03.360

failure is the launch pad for success

you need to fail


0:27:03.360,0:27:06.799

every day and be aware of what you fail

at so that you can do better do


0:27:06.799,0:27:10.799

something quite serious about this

um this problem of self-confidence


0:27:10.799,0:27:13.039

that's one of our three c's actually if

i


0:27:13.039,0:27:16.159

can shoehorn that in um they are

communication


0:27:16.159,0:27:22.000

creativity and confidence and

this problem of confidence i think


0:27:22.000,0:27:26.399

emerges when we categorize

what people can do based on their gender


0:27:26.399,0:27:30.320

or where they're from

or what their families do i studied


0:27:30.320,0:27:34.080

philosophy as well as economics at

university and i saw this split


0:27:34.080,0:27:40.399

where in economics lectures you could

barely see a woman whereas in


0:27:40.399,0:27:44.960

a philosophy lecture was entirely made

up of women


0:27:44.960,0:27:47.520

and i found the same thing when i was

doing my a-levels in my literature


0:27:47.520,0:27:51.120

classes

it was dominated by women in my


0:27:51.120,0:27:55.600

economics classes

it was dominated by men so is this


0:27:55.600,0:27:58.320

because

women aren't very good at economics well


0:27:58.320,0:28:01.520

absolutely not

is it that men are terrible at


0:28:01.520,0:28:07.679

expressing their literary

um ideas no so there's a problem here


0:28:07.679,0:28:13.200

and i think confidence is

certainly uh one of the reasons why this


0:28:13.200,0:28:16.960

problem emerges

so what do we do to address this is that


0:28:16.960,0:28:21.200

we

don't encourage children to internalize


0:28:21.200,0:28:26.080

that then they can't do something

and we see this from such a young age


0:28:26.080,0:28:31.039

like i was recently shopping for

some toys to bring back to bring over


0:28:31.039,0:28:35.840

here to for leia

um and there was a kind of girls section


0:28:35.840,0:28:40.960

in early learning center

which had all this sort of barbie


0:28:40.960,0:28:45.279

pink stuff and then the boys section was

building and architecture and


0:28:45.279,0:28:48.399

engineering toys and so when you look at

the research


0:28:48.399,0:28:54.559

what this leads to is a domination

in the engineering and the stem subjects


0:28:54.559,0:28:58.480

by

boys and the social sciences and


0:28:58.480,0:29:02.960

humanities

mainly made up of that's really quite


0:29:02.960,0:29:07.200

interesting i do

now see those safe that um parents and


0:29:07.200,0:29:10.320

way

are a lot more aware of this and


0:29:10.320,0:29:14.159

therefore are introducing or

you know there there are talks and


0:29:14.159,0:29:18.799

conversations about

less gender biased toys and you know


0:29:18.799,0:29:22.960

activities that aren't gender bias

to bring it back again to ken robinson


0:29:22.960,0:29:27.360

one of the main

points he makes on this subject is that


0:29:27.360,0:29:31.279

for in order for children to find their

elements as he calls it they need to try


0:29:31.279,0:29:34.799

things

they need to be given the opportunity to


0:29:34.799,0:29:40.399

try their hand at different things and

allow them to fail so if you do have


0:29:40.399,0:29:45.440

a younger person just put them in

different types of activities and that's


0:29:45.440,0:29:50.880

kind of why we have this

range of activities um at invictus is


0:29:50.880,0:29:56.559

not for 16 year olds who have

their mindset on becoming a lawyer to


0:29:56.559,0:30:01.360

only do debating

to hone their craft while that is


0:30:01.360,0:30:06.080

advised we'd like a 16 year old who

isn't very confident and who


0:30:06.080,0:30:09.840

tries to hide in classroom discussions

to do debating


0:30:09.840,0:30:13.279

and this is i think where you have real

development


0:30:13.279,0:30:19.840

and by trying new things out and by

as you mentioned earlier thinking


0:30:19.840,0:30:24.399

outside the box through

doing outside the box we


0:30:24.399,0:30:28.480

tend to box our children in in from a

very very young age you know you


0:30:28.480,0:30:32.720

mentioned how you

study dentistry at university but


0:30:32.720,0:30:36.000

you were on a pretty clear path to that

point by choosing


0:30:36.000,0:30:40.159

your triple science gcse and by

specializing in science when you're at a


0:30:40.159,0:30:43.919

level

now you were 15 when you chose your


0:30:43.919,0:30:47.279

gcses

and that affected the entire trajectory


0:30:47.279,0:30:51.760

of your life

so that seems like a thing of the past i


0:30:51.760,0:30:54.399

feel

and the way we kind of combat this i


0:30:54.399,0:30:58.640

think is by just

giving students the opportunity to try


0:30:58.640,0:31:03.039

their hand at multiple

multiple skills hence what we want to do


0:31:03.039,0:31:06.960

is expand

their potential and open their eyes to


0:31:06.960,0:31:11.120

different things that they could do and

whatever it is they would like to do if


0:31:11.120,0:31:17.200

they'd love to study

economics and they'd love to become or


0:31:17.200,0:31:20.480

aspire to become an accountant you can

still


0:31:20.480,0:31:24.159

improve your life as an accountant

through


0:31:24.159,0:31:27.440

gaining soft skills and gaining

technical


0:31:27.440,0:31:31.279

competencies in areas such as

communication and


0:31:31.279,0:31:34.559

you've got to be creative with numbers

too so


0:31:34.559,0:31:38.240

these types of skills that we're trying

to engender in our children


0:31:38.240,0:31:42.559

don't um guide them towards certain

careers they don't certainly don't


0:31:42.559,0:31:45.760

confine them

to entrepreneurship or or create the


0:31:45.760,0:31:50.240

creative arts what they do is

add more strengths to their bow so


0:31:50.240,0:31:54.000

whatever it is they choose to do

we're giving them the confidence to do


0:31:54.000,0:31:57.360

that we're making them better

communicators and we're making them more


0:31:57.360,0:32:00.159

creative

in their personal and their professional


0:32:00.159,0:32:05.279

lives which

as a parent i'm sure you recognize that


0:32:05.279,0:32:08.240

all those three things are pretty

applicable to even


0:32:08.240,0:32:11.600

having a successful or effective

household


0:32:11.600,0:32:14.480

having experienced what i've experienced

through my life i know that this is


0:32:14.480,0:32:17.679

something

that i would love for leia to sort of um


0:32:17.679,0:32:21.919

enroll into

and have and be exposed to um the one


0:32:21.919,0:32:25.679

thing that we do know is

change is a constant and i think we


0:32:25.679,0:32:31.360

really need to accept that as humans and

sort of teach our children that too


0:32:31.360,0:32:36.159

anything 2020 has taught us

is that change is inevitable and that we


0:32:36.159,0:32:39.840

have to sort of take exactly and that's

really the role if we


0:32:39.840,0:32:44.960

go back to what education is really for

it is meant to prepare us for this


0:32:44.960,0:32:51.039

future that we can't quite grasp as

ken robinson says again and that


0:32:51.039,0:32:56.000

there is this kind of feeling within

education


0:32:56.000,0:33:00.000

that if we keep doing the same thing as

we've done before


0:33:00.000,0:33:04.159

everything will be okay to the needs of

our children and we should


0:33:04.159,0:33:09.440

be flexible to the way the world is now

rather than stuck in the past and so


0:33:09.440,0:33:14.320

if we can endow our children with these

skills early on


0:33:14.320,0:33:17.760

they can pick them up keep them with

them if they want to start off


0:33:17.760,0:33:23.919

as a engineer and go into consulting and

try their hand at being a performer in


0:33:23.919,0:33:28.000

the theater

that's okay but they're going to need a


0:33:28.000,0:33:34.559

foundation of skills and i think

we've come upon an idea that's going to


0:33:34.559,0:33:39.440

allow them to do that

a lot of parents have opted to


0:33:39.440,0:33:42.960

homeschool their children alongside

their traditional schooling like


0:33:42.960,0:33:46.080

with their traditional schools so if

they were enrolled into a school


0:33:46.080,0:33:50.240

they've chosen to to homeschool using

that school's method


0:33:50.240,0:33:54.640

how is invictus different i mean you've

already told us about the core


0:33:54.640,0:33:57.440

curricular activities and i'm assuming

if they switch and do


0:33:57.440,0:34:01.440

invictus they would be automatically

enrolled into these core curricular


0:34:01.440,0:34:04.240

activities we had a really

great discussion about the fact that


0:34:04.240,0:34:07.279

you're going to expose them to a

recording studio


0:34:07.279,0:34:10.800

and like access to recording equipment

so they can


0:34:10.800,0:34:13.520

create a youtube channel if that's

something they're interested in or


0:34:13.520,0:34:17.040

record a podcast and put that out and

learn about podcasting


0:34:17.040,0:34:20.480

which i think is really exciting because

these skills are definitely


0:34:20.480,0:34:23.599

even if they don't do anything with them

as an adult maybe they don't become


0:34:23.599,0:34:27.599

the next joe rogan but at least it will

be something that will


0:34:27.599,0:34:31.520

help them um in the future we're a giant

umbrella semi


0:34:31.520,0:34:35.040

and there's this there's something for

everybody whether you're in traditional


0:34:35.040,0:34:37.919

school

let's say you are you can come down to


0:34:37.919,0:34:42.000

the center at the mac hills

community center and get involved in an


0:34:42.000,0:34:46.240

after school activity

if you'd like to have something very


0:34:46.240,0:34:49.599

specific to your to your taste

or to your interest and we can


0:34:49.599,0:34:54.480

personally design a

co-curricular activity around that um i


0:34:54.480,0:34:57.280

often see

students scrambling around around the


0:34:57.280,0:34:59.599

time they've got to write their personal

statements


0:34:59.599,0:35:02.880

not knowing what to put on it a lot of

them end up just writing


0:35:02.880,0:35:07.760

as i'm sure you did duke of edinburgh

which is extremely limited in what it


0:35:07.760,0:35:12.960

teaches you

um and so what we're trying to do is


0:35:12.960,0:35:19.760

provide um some

core skills and core competencies to our


0:35:19.760,0:35:22.480

young people so even if you are a

traditional school you can


0:35:22.480,0:35:27.119

come down and um and have something that

you can take away with you and use


0:35:27.119,0:35:30.720

practically for the rest of your life

alternatively if you are


0:35:30.720,0:35:35.440

at invictus online education you're as

you say automatically enrolled in these


0:35:35.440,0:35:43.119

activities and that will be your social

aspect to your ad to your education and


0:35:43.119,0:35:46.720

uh you mentioned

the the homeschooling option for schools


0:35:46.720,0:35:49.280

in dubai


0:35:49.440,0:35:53.599

i think that's that's an important idea

obviously online education is locked


0:35:53.599,0:35:58.480

down proof and virus proof in a way

because nothing's really going to impact


0:35:58.480,0:36:01.200

your insecure

don't think the virus is going to impact


0:36:01.200,0:36:04.160

our internet connections just yet

although that


0:36:04.160,0:36:11.280

that doesn't sound too far off

that you really you can you can shape


0:36:11.280,0:36:16.560

your education

um around you when does the


0:36:16.560,0:36:20.079

curriculum start and when does school

start for invictus because i know the


0:36:20.079,0:36:22.400

schools are going back in a couple of

days


0:36:22.400,0:36:28.720

and we're recording this on the 27th

so um when do you guys stop by we start


0:36:28.720,0:36:33.040

on the 15th

of september 2020 and um


0:36:33.040,0:36:36.320

that is our provisional start date

however


0:36:36.320,0:36:40.640

you're free to start online education at

any point in the year


0:36:40.640,0:36:44.480

so it gives you that extra flexibility

if you're undecided at the moment about


0:36:44.480,0:36:51.680

where to send your child to school

we can enroll students up till


0:36:51.680,0:36:55.280

january so there's no need to worry

about that come down


0:36:55.280,0:37:01.119

to the mac hills community center we do

a free consultation and chat with parent


0:37:01.119,0:37:05.760

and child

and wear an open book ask us anything we


0:37:05.760,0:37:09.760

realize that this is a new take on

education and there are going to be lots


0:37:09.760,0:37:13.200

of questions but we welcome that we want

there to be questions and we want


0:37:13.200,0:37:16.480

students to get the most out of their

education so


0:37:16.480,0:37:20.640

come down ask away and we really look

forward to


0:37:20.640,0:37:24.640

to starting the school year i'm

exceptionally excited about it


0:37:24.640,0:37:28.560

and even if you are enrolled at

traditional school


0:37:28.560,0:37:31.760

um come down and and we'll have taster

sessions we'll have


0:37:31.760,0:37:36.480

personal statement writing workshops

coming up and um


0:37:36.480,0:37:39.680

hopefully we're going to have you down

somewhere to talk to our young people


0:37:39.680,0:37:43.760

about your journey

um and any parents listening to this get


0:37:43.760,0:37:47.040

in touch

um on our twitter or instagram and if


0:37:47.040,0:37:50.400

you'd like to come talk to

some young people about the interesting


0:37:50.400,0:37:54.000

jobs or lives that you have we'd love

for you to come down and


0:37:54.000,0:37:57.520

really look forward to it i'm sure the

children that are


0:37:57.520,0:38:01.280

already enrolled are really sort of

looking forward to getting stuck back


0:38:01.280,0:38:05.760

into

some form of schooling um i will put all


0:38:05.760,0:38:09.359

your details in the show notes so

um if listeners want to find you they


0:38:09.359,0:38:12.480

can just pop the

pop to the show notes um and the links


0:38:12.480,0:38:16.400

will all be there so they can

um find you on the social media pages


0:38:16.400,0:38:19.599

i'll put your website in there as well

so they've got a contact for you thanks


0:38:19.599,0:38:33.839

so much for having me on tomorrow

thank you it's a lovely day as always


0:38:43.839,0:38:45.920

you