In case you don’t know the videos by Khan Academy yet, you should have a look at khanacademy.org right now: On his website, the former hedge fund analyst Salman Khan explains stuff in short videos, so that they are understable for anyone – think of it as TED-videos with a long-term-value or as Coursera for highschool kids. I’ve used Sal’s videos to freshen up my knowledge on stocks, on the human biology and on the Greek Debt Crisis.
Check out this video in which he explains Quantitative Easing:
But actually, Khan Academy is not about me or you. It’s about all the kids out there who need to get a proper education, but can’t get any – either because their teachers are boring dickheads, or for economic reasons. For these kids, Sal offers free and easily understandable online education.
Great projects have arisen from this initiative – such as the KA-Pi, a mini computer based on the Raspberry Pi, which has archived videos by Khan Academy stored on it. Since the videos are stored locally, kids in rural areas don’t need to be online to watch the videos.
Teaming up with the Tatas
In the next step, Sal has now announced that he is forming a strategic partnership with Tata Trusts, the principial shareholder of Tata Group. With the help of Khan Academy, Tata Trusts wants to break out of its brick-and-mortar-approach to education in India. According to “Economic Times“, the “five year partnership will provide free, world- class education in Maths and Science for anyone who seeks it in India in local languages.”
Also, the content will be improved, in order to better target middle and low income students in urban areas within the first two years. In the following three years, the plan is to reach out into the rural areas. The partners plan to involve teachers as content creators as well as knowledge-seekers who plan to improve their skills.
Of course, there’s always a reason to be skeptical when it comes to projects with high aims – a lot of stuff can go wrong on the way, due to a weak or non-existant internet connection, or because someone in the chain tries to gain a personal advantage. But with the genius-minded content provider Salman Khan and a strong local player like Tata in one boat, this cooperation has far greater chances of success than many other projects of its kind.