Mme. Faten is a Tunisian IT teacher at the Pioneer School of Sfax, who we had the great honor of meeting. She is one of many women who we are proud of in Tunisia; a teacher with enthusiasm and a different vision of modern education and its impact on the new generations.
The Education Love-Story
Faten graduated from the FSEG Sfax University with a Masters in “Information Systems and New Technologies” and is currently a PhD student in “Automatic Natural Language Processing”. After this remarkable academic adventure, she started a new one in 2007 as a teacher.
The start was in a rural region where Faten discovered the inequality of the education system between these regions and other schools in the cities. Attracted by these pupils’ English language problems, where they used to find courses so boring with no interaction.
With that in mind Faten moved from that region and teamed up with other teachers to motivate for children to practice their English with the help of their hobbies and electronic devices. The remarkable experience involved the children playing a football game, whereby they must only speak in English, or they’re out! It was an original interactive idea which helped to solve the problem.
Founder of the FIRST SKILLS CLUB
This began with starting an association for children’s education and activities, with modern and creative ideas but limited resources and a self-funding system. In 2012 the club had only 4 members but in time, new members joined to create a growing family.
Children in this club have the chance to learn things, which cannot be taught at schools (yet). From mobile apps to electronics and robotics, and playing with 3D printing and design, the members are being motivated to dive into more new technology fields thanks to the education staff.
A great organization with an advanced program and tools still face some problems – a few parents aren’t fully convinced with the idea of clubs and associative activities for their children which deprived some kids from taking this opportunity. Furthermore, being 300km away from the capital where all the major events take place was unfortunate for Faten and her kids where they missed opportunities to participate or even attend, but they still had the chance to journey to some.
Bringing this one-of-a-kind association for youngsters is something Faten must be proud of, but the echoes of her impact are going stronger. She managed to organize an exchange program for excellent members in France – something which will be a great motivation for many members throughout the year! The association and even Faten herself had won several awards nationally for their efforts! But anyway, the FIRST SKILLS CLUB is now partnering with other clubs and associations like Net-Info, the first ranked 3D digital education-center in Tunisia. Moreover, the club lately hosted the famous Microsoft’s “Hour of code” event for its members.
Mozilla’s Education Tools and Future Partnership with the Community
We talked a little about the tools Faten is using, but unfortunately she didn’t know about the tools Mozilla is developing for education. Fortunately, I had the chance to introduce her to Web Maker and it’s suite of tools like Thimble and she liked it! We as the Mozilla Tunisia community are looking forward to visiting Faten and her kids to have a workshop for these tools, and maybe something advanced like web apps or even WebVR (Virtual Reality).
A Final Word
Through this interview, Faten wanted to meet and send a message to people who share the same enthusiasm and goals to make a significant change in education tools and techniques. Faten plans to give help and mentorship to all who are willing to do the same around the world. She’s currently writing a book to share her experience, which is incredible given how many projects she has on the go! So let’s end with a quote from the talent herself, inspiring teachers around the world…
“We have tomorrow’s generation in our hands today, education should not be limited to giving courses, and learning is not only about taking notes in class”