We were honored to host Dr. Ahmed Arshad, the Vice Chancellor of LUMS, for Demo Day. Children from our edtech programs across the 4 schools in Lahore showcased their efforts in cutting edge digital areas. Starting with younger children who were beginning their journey in digital literacy to young women entrepreneurs.
Dr. Arshad appreciated Khud’s “tremendous vision” of trying to tackle Pakistan’s education crises in a disruptive way. Given his background in Educational Psychology, he was particularly impressed how young children were able to confidently present what they had learned via Khud’s edtech programs. Dr. Arshad and other guests noted how university students and in some cases professionals, can’t present with such confidence!
The children in our programs are disadvantaged with limited, if any, access to technology. But, they are just like other children in that they have the curiosity and an eagerness to learn. Tapping into that is the fuel that propels the children through Khud’s edtech program towards digital literacy.
Four years into our journey, Khud’s vision of end to end digital literacy is now taking shape:
Introduction to Computer: learning how to type and operate a computer
Presentation and Storytelling: learning a new topics (e.g. Artificial Intelligence) and developing a presentation
Video Editing: creating and editing videos (this can easily lead to vocational work as emphasis on video content is ever increasing)
Software Programming (starting with Scratch and moving onto Python)
After acquiring digital skills, children can self-learn other more advanced areas and uplift themselves and their families out of poverty. In that spirit, Khud is establishing “mini-startups” to facilitate the journey. A group of young women, who had never heard the concept of a blog, are now running an automation blog: Autome.me. We are wishing them success!
In the Q&A session, the students were extremely excited to ask Dr. Arshad about possible future collaborations with LUMS. Students of Grade 7 and 8 inquired the best approach in to get admitted to LUMS as well as other leading universities in Pakistan. Dr. Arshad explained how National Outreach Program caters to such underprivileged yet brilliant students of Pakistan. The children appreciated that there is a path for them to also get a world class education.
Note from the VC:
“LUMS alum Salah Khawaja, Class of BSc 97 gives new meaning to giving back. Despite a trailblazing career and a prominent role at the Bank of America, he started Khud - an EdTech initiative focused on giving underprivileged children digital literacy. With a bit of help from his uncle (Naseem Iqbal - a successful businessman based in Lahore) children have taught themselves python programming, design skills and tool based applications. I saw 6 presentations under a makeshift tent projected on a broken brick wall. It was all surreal but frankly incredible 21st century learning. It’s the kind of giving with a multiplier effect that is infinite. Thank you Salah. We need more role models like you.”
Four years into Khud’s journey, we are now very excited to formalize our edtech programs and scale. We need all the help - please volunteer with or support us financially.