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The Khwarizmi Science Society is partnering with maktab.pk to establish a high quality, bi-lingual, and contextualized online course material for intermediate (class 11 and 12).
Pakistan is facing a stark educational emergency. Our schooling system is unable to accommodate millions of children. Not only do we have millions of students who do not get a chance to start their education, even in the schools that are providing education the emphasis is on rote learning and not on grasping fundamental concepts. Therefore, increasingly we are seeing students dropping out of schools who have no clue what they have learned or the applicability of what they have understood. Tuition centers are providing packaged education whose only goal is to get higher marks in standardized exams of matric and FSc. Especially during the foundation years of ninth through twelfth grade the students are not receiving a quality education that prepares them for careers in engineering, sciences, and related subjects. As a developing country, we do not have enough resources to provide quality education at a large scale through traditional means of building more schools and training more teachers.
However, cheap technology and connectivity to the internet have provided us with newer ways to give the students a chance to receive a better education. Our proposed effort is, in our view, a complementary educational resource for students who are not able to complete their education as well as students who do not receive a quality education.
How is Maktab different?
In this effort, we are proposing to make an educational content repository for FSc students in all sciences. In this repository, the students are provided with high-quality videos and practice exercises to help them learn at their own pace. Although there are many such resources on the Internet there are a number of issues and challenges that deters local adaptation of these already available resources. First, almost all the content available on the Internet is in English. Most of the students in our public schools are not able to understand English at a level where they can fathom this content. Second, the content is not linked with the syllabus and textbooks that are used in our public and private schools. Our students are tightly linked with their textbooks and moving them away is not an easy task. Third, the material on the internet is so numerous and diverse that even the students who know English are unable to find the right content for them.
To this end, Maktab employs a textbook centered approach. Although the textbooks published by the various boards like the Punjab Textbooks Board are not of very high quality, these textbooks do have the topics that are needed for a good foundation in science and mathematics. The idea was to develop our videos based on the numberings of topics in the textbook. However, the video content is not just a verbose utterance of the content of the textbook. Instead, the content of the video will include the fundamentals of the topics, the applicability of the topic, examples from everyday life, demonstration of the topic through animations and experiments, etc. Therefore, by looking at the video the students are able to get a comprehensive foundation in a given topic. These videos will be in Urdu but selected keywords will be presented in English. On top of the videos, there will be exercises that will provide the students with a tool to measure their progress in understanding a given topic.
To summarize, the objectives of this proposal are the following:
- Develop a high-level content of videos and exercises that focus on fundamental understanding.
- To provide a means of almost free education to students who cannot afford it.
- To facilitate students in schools and colleges who are not given quality education.
- Prepare a better breed of students for higher education in engineering and sciences.