E-learning website Khan Academy launched in India
Khan Academy, a US based giant non-profit e-learning platform, partnered with Central Square Foundation in India and launched its Hindi version at the India Habitat Centre. The Hindi platform aims to enable high quality, localised and personalized learning resources to students across India, especially children from low-income communities. The Hindi platform will initially cover a selected range of grades for the NCERT-mapped Mathematics curriculum.
Salman Khan was born in New Orleans. His mother was from Murshidabad, West Bengal while his father was from Barishal in Bangladesh. Khan graduated from MIT in 1998 with two BS degrees in mathematics and electrical engineering, and comupter science, and went on to complete his MS in electrical engineering with a MBA from Harvard Business School, before starting Khan Academy.
The first Khan Academy was a web-based software with video tutorials designed to remotely tutor Salman Khan's cousins. Khan quit his job in 2009 realizing the potential of his content as more people started using his software and videos. By 2010, he had secured the support of Google and the Gates Foundation, and went on to receive funding from many other charitable sources.
Remarkably, Microsoft founder Bill Gates uses Khan Academy for his children. Bill Gates' admiration for Khan's work has given him the sobriquet of being the Microsoft founder's favourite teacher.
The mission of Khan Academy is to "provide free, world-class education for anyone and anywhere." It has over 26 million registered students in several subjects including science, mathematics, economics, history, computer science etc. The Academy has delivered over 580 million lessons and 4 billion exercises, some of which have been translated into 36 languages across 190 countries.
The Khan Academy contains tutorial videos, practice exercises, dashboard analytics and teacher tools to empower students in and out of the classroom. Students take a diagnostic exercise based on which the platform adapts to each individual, creating personalised recommendations about what to learn next. It enables individual students to see their progress and goals, thus motivating them to master skill sets.
According to founder Salman Khan, the Khan Academy is close to employing 100 full-time people, two-thirds of whom are associated with the software product designs. Khan, along with others, still creates tutorial videos, and more people are being sought.
The Academy believes that personalized learning resources can help bridge the learning gap in education between urban and rural students in India. The Academy also plans to collaborate with state and central governments for implementation of the web-based platform in government schools. It also plans to extend the web-based Hindi platform to smartphones, recognising the growing usage of smartphones in India.
Salman Khan, dubbed the "Messiah of Mathematics", plans to educate 450 million children in India in the next 10 years. Khan also featured in TIME magazine's list of 100 most influential people in the world.