A British Pakistani entrepreneur and IT expert have launched an online school, free of cost, in a bid to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal regarding education.
Ali Latif has launched ‘The Online School’ from London to deliver online teaching for the past six weeks. Thus far, the school has delivered over 120 hours of education to students across the world.
The school is providing quality free education to students from class one to A-levels, from ages ranging five-18 years.
So far, over 1,000 students in the UK and over 500 students from developing countries like Pakistan, Zambia, and Namibia have benefitted from these classes, which are conducted by teachers belonging to the best schools in Britain.
These teachers, all of whom volunteer their time and effort for a noble cause, are trained and certified by the Department of Education, graduated from various UK universities, and have a great breadth of teaching experience at private and state schools in London and outside.
Speaking exclusively to Geo News, Ali Latif said that he decided to launch ‘The Online School’ after the lockdown brought up new challenges and also new opportunities for various communities to come together to live and work in new ways.
Ali Latif said: “They say the pen is mightier than the sword. And COVID-19 has brought about a unique opportunity where I was in a position to create something to prove exactly that.
If children in the UK can learn online by accessing curriculum-based lessons from home using a device and internet, then why not children from every part of the world. There’s no discrimination when it comes to education for children. I want every child, no matter where they are to receive a great quality education and we won’t stop until we achieve exactly that.”
Latif said that the idea came from realizing the impact that the lockdown was going to have on the youth and their future. “We, as responsible adults, need to invest in our future. Hence The Online School was born.”
Ali Latif, who has a background in education and charitable works, shared his vision about the future of education which he felt was moving towards online since it was cheaper, more efficient, and convenient for both students and teachers.
“With online education, I can have children from all around the world in one place. I can ensure a child from a village in Zambia receives the same great quality of education as someone in London. And that is beautiful. Yes, there are some benefits of physical teaching, but quite frankly as technology is developing we are getting closer to creating a more realistic classroom environment online” Ali said.
So far, The Online School has classes for Maths, English, Science, and Sports, but they are expanding their classes as time goes on.
According to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal number four: “262 million children and youth aged 6 to 17 were still out of school in 2017, and more than half of children and adolescents were not meeting minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics.
Rapid technological changes present opportunities and challenges, but the learning environment, the capacities of teachers, and the quality of education have not kept pace. Refocused efforts are needed to improve learning outcomes for the full life cycle, especially for women, girls, and marginalized people in vulnerable settings.”
Following the UN’s guidelines, entrepreneurs like Ali Latif are trying to use advances in technology to help educate children. Capitalizing on the COVID-19 pandemic, Ali Latif believes that students will get more used to online education.