Despite lack of opportunities, our women have been able to achieve beyond expectations. For socio-economic welfare of any country, it is vital to empower women by providing them with the needed opportunities. Future is all about digitalization and the women of Pakistan have a significant part to play in it, if we ought to succeed as a nation.
A couple of years ago, Khud provided a platform in one of our collaborating schools for girls from low-income communities. The girls not only learned the relevant digital skills but practically implemented those by developing a fashion news aggregator website, called Aletere. The website was a huge success, garnering about 150,000-page views. However, due to some logistical issues, the project could not be continued for long. We took that as a learning experience and were back at it, with renewed optimism and an enhanced plan.
We now have an all-girls team, working on an automation blog that is focused on Artificial Intelligence, Data and Robotics. The team is divided into groups of three, to manage tasks respectively. Despite the fact that some of these girls used computers for the first time, six months ago, they have managed to post 485 articles. Automeme has had 4000-page views and over 2,000 followers on twitter so far.
The motivation and skills these girls have demonstrated in this project is applaudable. And we are extremely proud of the progress they have shown so far.
Stay tuned for more interesting updates from this amazing team!
“If your plan is for one-year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees. If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children.” ― Confucius.
Pakistan’s education system is in crises- marred by several issues- from lack of schools to the deficit of teachers. Wherever there are schools and teachers, the absence of basic infrastructure and quality of teachers hinder any real progress.
Despite many challenges, Khud is marching ahead with its vision. We have equipped around 500 marginalized students with digital education and introduced them to the latest technologies. EdTech has always been the core of our vision, while importance has always been laid on its delivery. We have departed from lecture-based pedagogy towards project-based learning. The problem with the old approach is that most students rote-learn instead of grasping the actual concepts. When it comes to executing those concepts, the students usually forget what had been taught altogether. We have achieved great results with the new approach, which was practically exhibited on the demo day.
Currently, we are working on improving and tailoring our digital curricula to satisfy our students’ needs. Our goal is to develop these self-executable digital curricula, bypassing the need of technical teachers, and making it public by 15th August 2019, so that other schools can benefit as well.
It is not every day that you hear grade 7 kids participating in a university level bootcamp- especially those hailing from the underprivileged strata of the society. On 19th January, 2019 the young stars from Khud raised many an eyebrow when they participated in the bootcamp organized by TechJuice at the University of Central Punjab.
The one-day bootcamp on Python covered an intense 4-hour curriculum designed to give participants complete, basic programming skills to use in their studies or workplaces. The bootcamp featured speakers and mentors from Arbisoft, one of the most prominent software houses in Pakistan.
Despite their young age, our kids were able to successfully grasp most of the python related concepts delivered at the bootcamp. This was largely possible due to their training in the programming course that was part of Khud’s digital curriculum. The mentors were very happy to see the excitement and confidence our students had shown. The bootcamp successfully managed to provide the much-needed exposure to the kids.
We would like to thank Techjuice for letting our kids be a part of this event. And wish them good luck with such future initiatives and look forward to continue participating in such events and in greater numbers.
25th of December 2018 is the day we have all been waiting for. The day when all of the Khud family, including students, teachers, volunteers, mentors and patrons got together for an annual Demo Day!
All of our collaborating schools made conveyance and arrangements for their respective students to assist participation in the Demo Day. The event not only provided students a platform to showcase and present their progress and projects but also provided a much-needed exposure.
Many renowned names from the education sector and tech industries attended the event. Besides applauding the students for the great show, they also provided them with their valuable feedback.
The participating students invested a lot of effort in preparing the presentations and they we're able to put up a marvelous show which was appreciated by all the guests. It was very heartwarming to see the underprivileged children discussing such complex ideas and future technologies. The whole event successfully established the fact that these students have a great potential and better opportunities can bring out the best in them.
Here’s to another year’s journey where we aim to equip more and more youth from the underprivileged areas with digital skills so that they may prepare themselves for the jobs in the future!
The basic reason of poor education system in under-developed countries is the lack, or an absolute absence, of good teachers. Every new phase of information technology has predicted that books will become obsolete. Books, however, have always proven to be resilient! But digital education can surely complement them and if executed properly can do wonders, especially in a country like ours. Paying more to teachers in a hope to get better educators is unfortunately not a practical solution.
In such a scenario, EdTech can be our country’s best bet and we, at Khud, are set out on a mission to prove that. Through this, we use our funds on gathering resources for digital education, rather than spending them on teachers. It doesn’t mean simply dumping a bunch of computers in schools will make the children learn everything. What we actually do is to provide our collaborating schools with self-explanatory digital curriculum that can be used by the students with little or no aid from teachers.
Many wonder how a system based on technology can be successfully executed in a country which mostly doesn’t even have the basic infrastructure. But here we are, going forward with our mission and making impact despite all the challenges.
Our goal, however, has never been to replace books and teachers altogether. There are some great teachers that believe in our cause and work with us selflessly. EdTech actually allows us to complement their hard-work and enables us to package and scale the delivery of education on a level that is simply not possible via traditional education system.
Sustaining in society with a disability is always tough. And lack of opportunities make it even tougher. But Zahra has never let that hold her back. A student herself, she has always looked for opportunities that could help her make contributions to the society.
Recently, she found one such opportunity in the form of internship at Khud, where she developed a basic digital curriculum for “Intro to Biology”, based on the content available on the internet. Zahra was tasked to compile the curriculum such that it was simple as well as engaging and fun for the students and that it needed little or no help of a technical teacher to be executed.
Despite her physical confinements, Zahra will be able to impact the lives of so many students. Hundreds of underprivileged students will be able to benefit from her work and knowledge, despite never meeting her in person. This could have only been possible in today’s age, with the use of technology. There can be no better validation of Khud’s vision. And we, at Khud, could not be prouder.
Earlier this year, the IT lab at Zahoor School got a major upgrade in the form of a bunch of new computers installed in it. As expected, the impact that this addition created has been great. The students continued on with their courses as well as some new students were taken on board now that there were more computers.
It makes us swell with pride to see our efforts bring fruition through the little achievements of our students like this. Because we believe it is small steps like these that will lead them to do great things in the future and that is when our work will be done. But until then, we will keep doing our best to equip students with digital skills of today.
Earlier this year we started a video editing course at the Aman Sarae Foundation for the female students there. The course began from video editing basics and progressed into more advanced and technical aspects of video editing.
Keeping the tremendous success of the video editing course in mind and the level of interest shown by students in learning digital skills, Khud decided it was time to introduce new courses to the Aman Sarae curriculum. And why not!
These new planned courses included Graphic Design and Web Development as we have done with other schools previously. The latest update is that our students have already finished their first session of Graphic Design course and are showing as much enthusiasm as the previous batch, if not more.
The Graphic Design students have been trained enough that they have started to step in the professional world. One such case is our student Nadab who has started to intern at TechHub Connect at Arfa Software Technology Park. Moreover, two of the students at Aman Sarae Foundation namely Aqsa and Muskan recently attended a workshop held by the MIT Enterprise Forum at Arfa Software Technology Park.
It has been absolutely thrilling to see the reception these students showed towards the course of video editing and the progress they made in such a short time. We are looking forward to enabling more of our students with the opportunities to polish their skills. More on that later!
Since its inception 3 years ago, Khud has been going strong with its mission to bring digital literacy to children from the underprivileged areas of Pakistan, operating in Lahore and its outskirts. The organization has expanded every year by continually updating and evolving its curricula to include more digital skills and by partnering with schools and organizations supporting the same cause.
The journey our students have had over these years is simply awe-inspiring. These children have had phenomenal growth; from not even knowing what internet is to learning and working on projects covering everything from Artificial Intelligence to Graphic Design and programming languages like Python among so many other things. These children despite coming from underprivileged backgrounds with parents who are illiterate, have transformed exceptionally since they began working alongside Khud’s trainers.
That is because Khud’s practices and teaching lessons employ a completely unique ‘self-executing’ curriculum offering digital skills that these children would otherwise not get an opportunity to learn, not even in conventional schools. We believe, self-learning is the best way to provide these children a fighting chance in this rapidly advancing technological world. With just a computer and a push in the right direction, Khud is helping open a world of opportunities for these children.
Moreover, these kids are being inculcated with the sense and knowledge of entrepreneurship in order to provide them with avenues of starting their own businesses and earning from them as well as enabling them to work with startups.
Khud team is all geared up to include more digital skills in its courses and curriculum aimed not only towards boys but also inclusively and exclusively towards young women from underprivileged areas. Acquiring more resources, the organization is aiming to scale for impact so that it can spread its mission to other cities of Pakistan as well and expand its message across boundaries!
It is no hidden fact that Pakistani youth has a lot of talent and potential in all kinds of fields. And it is not only the male who fall into this category, young women in our country are as talented, smart and hard working as their male counterparts. We have ample proof of this fact among the students that we work with. Young girls in all the schools we work with have shown great progress in learning digital skills which is why we have made it our mission to develop inclusive as well as exclusive projects for our young female students.
A few months back Khud started an exclusive project with a bunch of girls from one of the schools that we collaborated with. This entrepreneurial project was named Aletere (derived from an italian word) which was basically a fashion news aggregator. The project had a great potential, it kicked off nicely and started to show traction very quickly. Unfortunately, the project had to be parked due to logistical issues.
Instead of considering this as a failure, we see it as a learning curve. We now have come back with a new and better project idea about automation, taking in a new cohort of young female students coming from underprivileged background. We have recently concluded a month long orientation period where our cohort was helped with learning and excelling Microsoft Office, Social Media and Content Writing, all the basics which will help them work on this project independently.
Currently, the cohort is being divided based on individual preferred skills so that everyone can do what they like to do instead of forcing the roles on them. With this project we are hoping to cater to a wider audience and have complete confidence that our cohort of these bright young girls will see the project through to success.
The idea behind starting such small scale entrepreneurial projects is to provide these young minds with an opportunity to get professional, more hands-on experience and to earn on their own rather than simply providing the training to relevant skills. It is like running a mini incubator, a self-funding training school in a hope that these women will use the ladder made out of digital skills to reach towards a better life and a bright future.