Pakistan has one of the highest illiteracy rates around the globe. Nearly 5 million children of primary school-going age are out of school. Things may be improving as more schools are opened but the pace is too slow to be noticeable. One man, along with a team of teachers and other educational enthusiasts, plans to revolutionize the process of education through a school named as “Orenda”.
The Orenda Project
The Orenda Project aims to develop a sustainable and scalable education system. It was started by Haroon Yasin, a 24-year-old from Islamabad. After conducting a research on why most children in Pakistan are out of school, the team behind the school “Orenda” came to one conclusion; the children are simply bored. Forced-learning by rote, prevalent in most schools in Pakistan today, is simply not interesting enough.
Making education interesting through cartoons
The people behind this campaign want to make education “addictive” enough to convince everyone to want to learn. This, they are trying (and succeeding) to achieve by innovative ways like a series of cartoons called ‘Taleemabad’. It is available online and can be streamed from anywhere.
Each cartoon episode is accompanied with paper-based worksheets and tests. Each test is graded and entered into a tablet, which is directly synced to an online database. Here, test scores are analyzed and if any student is struggling, the teacher is notified so he can help him/her out.
Teachers are still the part of the teaching process. Each teacher is trained daily through a 2-minute video on organizing play-based sessions for that particular lesson. Using these cartoons, content, games and a series of physical activities, they’ve developed a whole system for making the learning process much better.
Establishing more schools and content
Currently, they are facing a shortage of funds and have only managed to install their system for creating and display the content in 4 schools. Moreover, they’ve only been able to produce content for English and Mathematics for nursery and kindergarten students.
Now, they have launched an online campaign on Indiegogo’s Generosity crowdfunding website. The funds will let them make content for Urdu and General Knowledge and install their system in 15 more schools, reaching out to more students.
“Your funding will enable us to install it in 15 more schools, and reach out to 500 more students.”
That’s 500 students who will either have the opportunity to attend school for the first time or will become insulated from the possibility of dropping out, if they are already enrolled.
How can I donate?
You can donate to their campaign by going to the campaign’s page. You can pitch in as little as $10, enough for printing tests for 2 children for a year, or as much as $5000, allowing them to create two complete seasons of their cartoon show, Taleemabad.