In order to provide free online education to the Indians through the help of one of the biggest open access online platforms, the Tata Trusts has decided to support the US based non-profit Khan Academy. Ratan Tata, who is the chairman of the Tata Trusts, has not yet specified the aggregate value of resources the company is going to grant the Khan Academy during their five year long partnership, as discussed in the tie up. Speaking about the free access to quality education Tata said that it is the demand of the new era and is a compelling opportunity for the students and help multiply the literacy rates in the country.
According to Tata, “What the Khan Academy has created is a concept which provides free education and knowledge to anybody, anywhere. Therefore, for me, as an Indian and as a citizen on this planet, it’s a great privilege. I look at this as a great opportunity where we will do something to create a difference for generations.”
Salman Khan, who is the hedge fund analyst turned founder of the Khan Academy said that the Indian students are already in the ambit of using the Academy’s content, but after the tie up there would be specialized content designed for India in both English and Hindi, which can in turn benefit the lakhs of youth students in the country. The concept of the Khan Academy is seemed to be different and has potential to make tremendous difference in India by making illiterates opting for studies and becoming literate.
Khan while attending the ceremony where the tie up took place also said that his plans were initially ridiculed by many when he started them. But he said the times have changed now and there is sense of appreciation among the people regarding the programme. The content that the academy would design for India would be in line with the National Council of Education Research and Training. The work of subtitling and translating the video tutorials has already started by the Khan Academy, as pointed out by Khan. He further said that the content updated online would also be produced in regional languages soon.
According to him this programme could play a complementary role in the existing education system of India. Talking about the low and expensive bandwidth of the county like India both Tata and Khan said that the connectivity issues could be solved with rising trends of broadband adoption in the country. Concluding about his non-profit organization, Khan said that these organizations are needed in the society as when the markets fail to provide education and healthcare to its citizens, these non-profit players comes into play.
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