Koshish Foundation, a Silicon-Valley based non-profit corporation (Chairman, Suhail Akbar) with a strong presence in Pakistan where it works on education-related projects, has announced the completion of over 1700 math and basic science videos that are Urdu translations of the Khan Academy tutorials. These math and basic science videos can enable students learn Grade 3 to Grade 12 level math, chemistry, physics, and biology in Urdu.
Pakistani-American technologist and philanthropist Safi Qureshey, with Bilal Musharraf, Khan Academy’s Dean of Translations, acting as the liaison between Safi Qureshey and the Koshish Foundation. Safi Qureshey rose to fame in 1992 when AST, a computer company in California he co-founded with two partners, entered the list of Fortune 500 companies. Qureshey was the first Pakistani to walk the path of entrepreneurship in computer technology in the US, and he was the pride of his country of birth. Pakistanis in general and Karachiites in particular took Qureshey’s international success with teary-eyed pride.
|Source: AppAppeal as of April 10, 2014. Note: Youtube is blocked in Pakistan
This scribe remembers seeing billboards with Safi Qureshey’s picture along Shahrah-e-Faisal in Karachi. Qureshey has definitely been an inspiration in one way or another for today’s large pool of Pakistani Americans starting up their own businesses, putting hard work in them, and taking them to success. Safi Qureshey realizes the importance of education and has been helping out people and institutions focusing on primary education in Pakistan. Muhammad Mahboob Akhter, a long term associate of Safi Qureshey, helps Qureshey in identifying and supporting education causes. In 2000-2001 Safi Qureshey provided funds for educational TV program ‘Khul Ja Sim Sim’ (popular US "Sesame Street" shows localized in Urdu for young TV viewers in Pakistan).
Koshish Foundation’s Urdu translation work of the Khan Academy videos—funded by Safi Qureshey--is being done by two top-notch translators in Karachi: Aleem Ahmed of the Global Science magazine and Zeeshan Hyder. Currently there is a ban on YouTube in Pakistan. Since the original Khan Academy videos and their Urdu translations are hosted at YouTube, very few students in Pakistan can access this educational resource. (A few Urdu videos are available on Dailymotion). Even when access to YouTube is restored in Pakistan, a large number of students not connected to the Internet will not be able to reach these educational videos.
Koshish Foundation views a different way its work will be utilized in Pakistan. Koshish sees non-profit organizations and conscientious citizens downloading this material on their computers and using it to run their own schools with minimum operating expenses. All they need will be a classroom, a computer with downloaded videos on it, and a projector; a chaperone can oversee the students and the learning process. When better resources are available students can be given computers to do related practice exercises.
Ali Hasan Cemendtaur, the author of this post, is a Silicon Valley blogger and writer. Ali appears with me on the weekly Viewpoint From Overseas show recorded in Silicon Valley. Ali has been instrumental in Microsoft's support of Urdu fonts on Microsoft Word, and he is currently managing Urdu translations of videos at Khan Academy. Ali is a friend and a fellow NED University alumnus.
Here's an example of Khan Academy Urdu video:
20-Solving equations and inequalities through... by khanacademyurdu
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