“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – Malcom X
Past few months have been really unpredictable for the whole world. The situation has been uncertain, economies crashing, inflation, travel bans, work from home and most importantly closure of educational institutes. The developed countries were somewhat prepared for such a pandemic with their contingency plans in place, however for the developing countries like Pakistan, everything was at stake. Our economy crashed, people went jobless, a complete lockdown was implemented. People were forced to use technology to stay connected with routine tasks while majority of our population is not technology savvy. It was really difficult for a country like us to cope up with such an unprecedented situation. With the closure of schools in March across the country, our education sector was about to collapse as their were no alternatives present at that time. It was for the companies like Knowledge Platform, working in the EdTech space for years, coming up with a solution instantly and launching a Virtual Campus for schools and releasing it to cater both the web and mobile users simultaneously.
That being said, it was relatively easier to implement such an online model in urban areas but in a country like Pakistan, where more than 60% of the population lives in rural areas it was not an easy task. Though we already had our offline solution working in some of those rural areas but switching them to a complete online model was no less than a challenge in itself.
The Educators School System, being one of our partners in this digitization have few branches in Bagh and Azad Kashmir with inadequate infrastructure, limited internet access and teachers with little to no prior technological experience. We had to start from scratch, by helping the teachers with the basics of using a computer to the concept of our Virtual Campus solution. It was a tough journey which seemed impossible at the beginning but the passion of the teachers and their will to serve, became the driving force of motivation which eventually helped us in implementation of the online model, which has been proven beneficial for both the teachers and students of these schools.
“Not only Knowledge Platform gave us an online system, they also gave us the energy to move forward, to continue our schooling activities.” – Muhammad Naseer Khan (Principal, The Educators – Bagh Campus)
We went ahead with our normal training processes and made the school completely equipped to resume their school session with a twist of online learning. If you have ever been to Bagh, only then you can apprehend with the financial situation of the locals and a majority of students have no access to internet. The situation was upsetting but the school and our team came up with a solution to help these students.
The plan was to help and provide equal opportunities to all the school students. The school decided to divide the students from different grades into groups, where each group consisted of at least one student having internet connectivity and he was then paired with 4 to 5 other students with no or limited access to internet.
This plan eventually turned out to beneficial for all the students as now almost every student can get the access to our online resources from which they were able to learn the same topics, solve assessments and also compete amongst each other with real time data being shown on our in-built leader boards. School teachers played a crucial role in the execution of this plan as they volunteered to moderate these learning groups and provided their valuable knowledge to the students at the same time.
This school set up has been a perfect example of how small, consistent efforts along with willingness to improve and learn can do wonders and change ones perspective to deal with difficulties. While some people were hopeless and thought nothing can be done, there were some heroes who planned, acted and never looked back. They never held themselves back because of resource limitation instead saw the light at the end of the tunnel and kept moving.
Today, The Educators – Bagh Campus is the second most successful school in the entire north region in our system. Their students are always on top of the leader board and strive to learn more. After the success of online version, now they are opting for the offline version to facilitate all students without internet limitations to help them achieve their full potential.