The region’s first New England Association of Schools and Colleges-accredited and KHDA-licensed online school, iCademy Middle East has more than doubled in size in the past three years. According to a recent internal study, iCademy Middle East parents cite flexibility and convenience as key reasons for switching to the online school. "Flexible and affordable are the two words we are hearing most often from our families," explains Dr Mohamed Mroueh, Head of School, iCademy Middle East. “As it was during the pandemic, we are used to families intending to try us short term. When they see the academic results and how much their children enjoy iCademy, they decide to remain with us.”
Knowledge Hub success
Another key finding was that parents were most satisfied with the school’s 12,000-square-foot learning centre and activity space called Knowledge Hub in Dubai Knowledge Park. Opened in September 2021, Knowledge Hub provides learning coach services, social interaction, counselling services, and support to nearly 300 enrolled students. Parent and student satisfaction rate among Knowledge Hub students exceeds 80 per cent.
“When we sat down to develop Knowledge Hub, we met with parents before education consultants and contractors,” says Jeffrey Smith, Knowledge Hub Director of Operations. “Like micro schools and pods in the United States, we envisioned Knowledge Hub as student- and family-centred. iCademy Middle East has a long and proud track record as a grassroots resource, especially in the homeschool community. From our STEM lab to our lush outdoor play area, nearly every great Knowledge Hub idea came from our parents and students.”
The concept of small, student-centred education is growing in popularity across the United States and parts of Europe. The US National Home School Association expects a growth of 10 million students this year and many of those students will form learning pods or micro schools, similar to Knowledge Hub.
The Schakat family recently embarked on a 14-month world tour by bus. “Their two children, ages 11 and 10, will receive an education that can’t be replicated in any classroom,” says Angela Johansson, Lead High School Learning Coach at Knowledge Hub. “The best part about their trip is the students won’t miss a day of school.”
The Schakat children are enrolled in iCademy Middle East where they will have access to their learning, including quizzes and tests, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. When students need support, their online teachers are available four days a week to support students and parent learning coaches. “In a traditional school, students cannot travel with their families for 14 months and pass on to the next year of school. At iCademy Middle East, it happens all the time,” explains Johansson.
Students have a broader range of interests than ever before, says Ashley Curd, School Counsellor for iCademy Middle East. “The idea of being confined to a school building for six hours a day, five days a week is not preferable to many high-school students.”
Audrey Hametner, Founder and CEO of Bedrock Program, a leading university and career counselling firm based in Dubai, adds, “iCademy Middle East also makes learning personal and relatable at the high-school level with a suite of world languages and career electives that you won’t find in a traditional school. By sparking student interest, they are developing highly motivated and confident high-school graduates.”
For additional information and to learn more about Knowledge Hub and iCademy Middle East, visit www.iCademyMiddleEast.com or contact iCademy Middle East at 04 440 1212.