Noura Ayman Boodai is the Shareholders representative and VP for Student Affairs and Registration at Kuwait Technical College.

She speaks to us about the impact of Covid-19 on colleges and higher education. She also speaks about how technology has helped them during the lockdown. 

Has the role of females in the family business changed over the years, if so, how? What opportunities are there in family businesses for women to contribute more? 

In our family, all of us are raised as equals. Ever since I graduated from University, I have been actively involved in growing our family business. I’m proud that more and more Kuwaiti women are stepping up and leading businesses within their families, but also as successful entrepreneurs in their own right.

What are the key learnings for the education sector from the ongoing pandemic? How are you prepared for the next phase of recovery?

The key lesson that we have taken from this pandemic is to be adaptive and responsive towards change. We have embraced technology in ways that we haven’t before. We automate processes as much as we can whilst still maintaining the highest standards of integrity and fairness. 

With education going online, students around the world are exposed to online bullying, harassment, and privacy risks. What are the steps as a leader in the education sector you take to stop online bullying?

That’s a really important question. We take cyberbullying very seriously and we have a zero-tolerance policy whenever an instance of cyberbullying is reported. All our classrooms and virtual learning tools are monitored closely for such incidents and we have dedicated teams and support groups to investigate these issues when they arise and to offer help to anyone affected by it. We have implemented the highest security measures to ensure that our entire community is protected from external threats.

What are the programs/courses you run in your educational institutes focusing on the career growth of future female leaders?

We are proud to say that more than 50% of our staff are female. Our mid-level management team is driven by strong, inspirational women who serve as role models for our students. We also focus on encouraging and preparing our female students towards a career in STEM. 90% of our IT lab instructors are female, and they serve as role models to our female students on what a career in STEM looks like. We recently launched a programming course online teaching students how to code in python.  

Initially, this course was taught for female high school students exclusively as a way to get them excited about a career in data sciences. And now, we expanded this course and opened it to a larger audience. The course is also taught by a female instructor who is very passionate about the subject matter. At ktech, we definitely believe the future is female!

How has technology helped the education sector last year? What will be the impact of digitization in the education sector?

Without technology, we wouldn’t have been able to resume any learning activities safely. I believe that technology is deeply embedded in everything we do, and that

e-learning is not some distant possibility or a temporary solution for this pandemic. E-learning is a big part of our reality today, and it will stay as a core part of education even after the pandemic stabilizes and we ease back into the physical classroom. 

Digitization has made a lot of positive changes in the education sector. At ktech, we operate more efficiently, and our response time is much faster. We have integrated technology to automate our admission and onboarding process, and this has helped our students transition smoothly to the e-learning experience.

How do you inspire the female youth of Kuwait? What advice would you give them for the future?

I have so much hope and optimism towards what the future holds for girls and women in Kuwait. While we still face a lot of challenges, I see so much potential in our Kuwaiti youth. They stand up for what they believe in and they work with passion and commitment.

Don’t take the easy path and never settle for less than what you deserve. As a female leader, I believe in you I will do my best to pave the way for women like you to step up and claim your rightful place as a future female leader.