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Zahoor School

Seeds of Success with Khud’s EdTech Mission

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Seeds of Success with Khud’s EdTech Mission

Can you imagine the feelings of the children from a small school in a small village in Lahore when their school opens a computer lab for them? Ecstatic is a small word. Now that they had a whole new avenue of learning open to them, they were excited at the things they could learn. What’s more; these students had the privilege that theirs is the only school in the village with a computer lab.

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Yes, we are talking about Zahoor School, the first school that Khud collaborated with, in their mission to teach digital skills of today to underprivileged children of Pakistan. This was where it all started. Khud team faced many challenges in the beginning in setting up and carrying out courses in another place but it was all worth it now that there are multiple collaborations under the organization’s belt and the progress of each is a testament in itself.

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The computer lab at Zahoor School today is a state-of-the-art facility where so many children learned the use of computers as a pre-requisite to taking more advanced digital courses. At present, the students there are being taught three professional digital courses: video editing, programming and web development. Video editing is being taught using Premiere Pro, programming using Python and web development through CSS/HTML. Premiere Pro, which is a professional video editing program by Adobe, is a superb tool which can be used in graphic designing, computer animation, film making, photography and any field related to visual creativity hence, can open so many avenues of opportunities for these students.

The reason for selecting these programs is that they are the most suited to have the students get prepared for professional experiences and find earning opportunities on the basis of these skills. These are also the skills which are going to define the future of technology and anyone adept in these skills is guaranteed to thrive in a technologically advanced world.

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Many students out of these courses have enough practice that they have started working on some commercial projects and are already on the way to start earning money on the basis of their newly-acquired skills. We have high hopes from these students to go out in the professional world and make a mark for themselves.

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Friends of Khud Come to Visit us at Zahoor School

In late December, we hosted visitors at Zahoor School - the pilot school of Khud’s self-learning initiative (on the outskirts of Lahore). The background of our visitors was wide ranging: bankers, entrepreneurs, lawyers, architects and moms. Some local Lahoris, others from as near as Islamabad  - others all the way from Dubai and New York

It was a great opportunity for us to not only share the great progress that we have made but also get their thoughts, suggestions and counsel on how to improve our approach and pedagogy. Moreover, the event helped us in connecting these children with outsiders. The children were very excited to meet and interact with people with whom normally they would never get the chance.

The conversation was started by Khud's founder Salahuddin Khawaja - he shared how he was inspired by the work of educationist and TED-Talk winner Dr Sugata Mitra in India and across numerous countries in the third world. Salahuddin highlighted the troubled state of affairs in education sector of Pakistan, in summary:

  • 146 (out of 187) UN Education Index
  • 25 Million Children are not in school
  • 1.4 Million Teachers are needed

(Source: Alif Ailaan's great work on the Pakistan's Education Crises.)

Khud is trying to tackle this crises head-on. In: Self-Learning, Technology and Inherent Curiosity. Out: Dogmatic, rote memorization.

Then it was the children's turn. Those that have been following Khud will recall we asked the children to build presentations using cloud based service Haiku Decks. The topics we posed:

  • What is Success?
  • What is Google?
  • What is Wordpress?
  • What is Great Art?

Most of these children 1 year ago did not know what the Internet was. Slowly they chipped away and were able to create the topical presentations with limited guidance. 

Khud Students Presentation Self Learning Zahoor

The visitors were amazed to see how a 12-14 year old kid that had just learned to use a computer talking about Wordpress and JavaScript. Pretty sure some of our less tech-savvy visitors picked up a nugget or two! Here is just that presentation:

(Presentations was just the start of our innovative pedagogy, so much more to come: video editing, coding, design etc.)

The conversation then shifted to the visitors sharing their take on success. Sohail Khan of StormHarbor shared "To attain success you have to keep trying … and remember respect is king!" Naveed Khalid Chowdhary of Medipak encouraged empathy as a key attribute and said that, “It is human nature that giving feels better than taking … touching peoples live is very important." Abid Imam, a Pakistani lawyer and politician said, “The path to success is different for everyone” and more importantly, as Shahzad Ali of Goldman Sachs put it, "Failure is in the path to success and that is completely OK."

The visitors stressed that success is not something that can be quantified and should not only be look through a monetary lens. Rather, success is something that gives you peace and makes you feel content with your life. The visitors also encouraged the young learners to dream big and take risks in their life. 

All in all was a great visit where both the students and visitors learned from each other. If you are ever in Lahore and are interested in paying us a visit, drop us a line.

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Khud Planning Teacher Training in Collaboration with Gymboree Pakistan

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Khud Planning Teacher Training in Collaboration with Gymboree Pakistan

Yesterday, Khud organized a visit of Gymboree Pakistan to Zahoor School. Farhan Jawa (Corporate Manager) & Renee Rashed (Program Development Manager) offered their support to the school. Our visitors were thrilled by the efforts of Yasmeen Shahid (Zahoor School Principal) and passionate teachers, who have been teaching with limited resources. The visitors also met the students of Grade 5, and reviewed Khud’s Self-Learning via technology project.


As a task, the visitors tested the students by asking them to research about Gymboree Pakistan. Within few minutes, student used Google Chrome, opened Gymboree’s page and responded. Mr. Jawa and Mrs. Rashed were both impressed. As  per part of Gymboree Corporate Social Responsibility Effort  (CSR), the company will be organizing a special teacher training program (learning via projects) to enhance the teaching capabilities of Zahoor School's teachers with a focus on Playgroup - Grade 2.

A special thanks to Sophia Kasuri, Director Gymboree Pakistan, for helping making all this happen.

Gymboree Pakistan Khud Zahoor School Lahore

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Students Become Teachers!

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Students Become Teachers!

Renowned sufi and mystic Maulana Jalal-ud-Din Rumi once wrote that: 

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.

This quote highlights that learning never ends, rather, it is a continuous process, for both students and teachers alike. Eight months ago Khud started to train its first cohort of ten Grade 5 students at Zahoor School.

These students were equipped with internet and laptops and their path to self-learning was illuminated by their talented guide Bilal Tareen. We are proud to share that all of the ten students have performed far better than our expectations.

Now, these students have begun teaching Grade 4 computers and the art of 'self-learning.' Ladies and gentlemen, today the young students have taken the mantle of their teachers; the journey of 'self-learning' continues.

 

The students of Grade 5 are teaching super-excited students of Grade 4 how to click and move their fingers on mouse pad. To practice this, the children are using Windows Paint to make colored shapes on window's paint.

The students of Grade 5 are teaching super-excited students of Grade 4 how to click and move their fingers on mouse pad. To practice this, the children are using Windows Paint to make colored shapes on window's paint.

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