Lenovo has announced the expansion of its successful partnership with GEMS Education to further include opportunities for students in gaming. Hot on the heels of Lenovo’s collaboration with GEMS Modern Academy, the rollout of its second Esports program sees GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa benefit from a range of Lenovo offerings. These include products from the Lenovo Legion and Workstation lines that will allow the school to further level up the intersections of learning and gaming.
As part of the collaboration, Lenovo’s second ‘Legion Gaming Zone’ at GEMS FirstPoint School will feature a 360-degree solution consisting of industry-leading Legion PCs and monitors for gaming immersion, and high-performance ThinkStation workstations for seamless designing and programming. With GEMS FirstPoint School being the first institution in the UAE and wider region to offer international BTEC courses in Esports and Creative Media – Game Design, Lenovo’s specialized gaming setup with industry-level hardware and software will allow for further practical and professional skills development.
Commenting on the rollout of Lenovo’s second Esports program with GEMS Education, Mohammed Hilili, General Manager, Lenovo Gulf, said: “As with any competitive sport, Esports gaming helps students develop discipline – teaching new skills and building engaged communities. But more than that, Esports can foster an inclusive community that is largely independent of physical ability, gender, location, and other factors. With access to the right technology, diverse students from all backgrounds can compete on a global stage, opening up professional opportunities for playing and developing gaming. At Lenovo, we will continue leveraging software and services, paired with devices, to deliver integrated and customized Esports solutions that will enhance the lives of students and teachers alike.
“Over the last period, we have worked with GEMS Education to align on the key requirements and goals for establishing a vibrant and successful Esports program, with GEMS Education consistently seeking new ways to engage its students. With the successful rollout of Lenovo’s first Esports program, we have expanded our collaboration with the educational institution. The second partnership is a testament to GEMS Education’s mission and commitment to nurturing students to become productive members of society by helping them build life, social, career, and workforce development skills.”
Matthew Tompkins, Principal/CEO of GEMS FirstPoint School, said: “At GEMS FirstPoint School, we are delighted to be partnering with Lenovo on this project, as we are acutely aware of the increasing industry demand for students with gamification skills and experience. The introduction of this state-of-the-art ‘Games Laboratory’ coincides with, and enhances, our courses that promote the development of gamification skills. Our students learn coding and computer skills from Year 1, with GCSEs and A-levels available at the senior end of the school. We recently added BTEC Esports and BTEC Digital Game Design to our qualification offering and are the first school in the Middle East to offer BTEC Esports. We are also proud to be members of the British Esports Federation.
“As a school, it is our responsibility to reflect the ever-evolving workplace and provide our students with skills that will allow them to enter university and employment as leaders from day one. GEMS FirstPoint is very fortunate to be part of the GEMS family of schools, which promotes innovation and supports us to improve our offering to best support our students.”
Baz Nijjar, Principal Advisor – Education Technology, GEMS Education, said: “Our focus on innovations is aimed at increasing student engagement and collaboration and supporting their learning outcomes with a STEM-centred approach. Through the rollout of Lenovo’s Esports programme at GEMS FirstPoint School, we are providing a world-class environment in which students can develop as exponential thinkers and further build their social, emotional and interpersonal skills. Our partnership with Lenovo sets a foundation to increase inclusivity and outreach to students across the GEMS network. We see Esports as a gateway to providing meaningful opportunities that will support lifelong learning by developing transferrable employability skills.”
In the Middle East, gaming continues to grow at an exponential rate with forecasts suggesting that average Esports players in the UAE will spend at least $115 per year in the next five years. This has pushed governments to invest billions of dollars in theme parks and other venues where Esport players can access the games or take part in the competitions. Considering that about 70% of UAE’s population is below 30 years, the entire business will potentially involve about 20 million people – many of which are school students.