Anand Bhashyam, Founder of Skillza Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai headquartered Skillza has partnered with 15 schools across the MENA region to offer future skills-based courses to 6-to-16-year-old students.

Founded in 2020 by a team with extensive experience working in education in MENA, the platform offers hybrid classes (online and offline) to Arabic-speaking students in the MENA region. With the goal of upskilling students in the region, Skillza’s team of certified bilingual teachers from Egypt, Lebanon, UAE, and Saudi Arabia have come together to make the youth of the Middle East more employable.

Skillza has till date taught over 25,000 students across the region via live online classes. They have developed content in Arabic to offer courses in technology, design, media, entrepreneurship, and STEAM to the 100 million kids in the Arab world.

“We believe it is essential for the entire ecosystem including schools and education technology companies to come together to solve this very local problem. We have partnered with schools to support them with our expertise in skill development by offering local language content, curriculum, training, and experts” said 34-year-old Anand Bhashyam, Founder of Skillza.

Skillza has signed a memorandum of understanding with more than 15 schools across the UAE to provide extra-curricular activities to students of different ages. These 15 schools will give Skillza access to a student pool of more than 50,000 students. Johnson Fernando who leads Institute relations at Skillza says “We have just scratched the surface and are currently focussed on the 1000 schools in UAE. This is just the tip of the iceberg as compared to Egypt and Saudi Arabia which together have 100,000+ schools.”

A unique approach of Skillza is in its way of teaching students the importance of entrepreneurial skills by giving high school students internship opportunities to put what they learn into practice. The region is vastly different from the rest of the world when it comes culture, values, opportunities, and challenges. Solutions that work in other parts of the world cannot be directly replicated in the Middle East.

Skillza is one of the 4 start-ups from UAE who were recently funded by the prestigious YCombinator. Other US based Venture Capital funds and prominent angel investors from the region including senior personnel from Facebook (UAE) and Careem also participated in the round.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with the some of the best investors in the world and specially from the region. The funds will be used for product development, building engaging content and increasing course catalogue. We are building a truly local team and are hiring for technology and content roles” Anand added.