Mr. Iftikar Ali, a resident of the Nilnore, a small town on the outskirts of Islamabad was often perplexed by the lack of opportunities for young women and girls in his community.
“It bothered me that there were so few opportunities for girls in our community to have a good education – especially once they finished primary school” Mr. Ali commented when he was asked why he transformed his vocation from an entrepreneur to an “edu-preneur”. Mr. Ali, like thousands of other “edu-preneurs”, is responsible for the mushrooming of low-cost private schools across the country, to correct the market failure due to the government’s inability to serve and sustain the country’s burgeoning school-going population.
“I wanted to do something about it – and then I thought of my old chicken shed! I decided to transform it into a small classroom, and that is how we started our community school here in 2006.”
From humble beginnings, the Al-Farabi School Network established by Mr. Ali now has over 13 branches in just 10 years!
Key to Mr. Ali’s growing success has been the adoption of “Learn Smart Classroom”, a digital resource center developed by Knowledge Platform. “Since we adopted the Learn Smart Classroom, our enrolment has grown exponentially, and the number of students dropping out has decreased,” says Mr. Ali. Learning outcomes of students have also improved dramatically, as students find the blended learning solution extremely engaging and more helpful with conceptual understandings and knowledge retention. When the system was first introduced, the passing rate of students from the Federal Board exam was around 40% for 9th graders and 20% for 10th graders. 5 years later in 2018, Al-Farabi now boasts a pass-rate of almost 100%!
“When we first introduced it, we invited parents (most of whom are illiterate) to come to a demonstration and word spread quickly across the community. They understand that technology has an important role to play in making an impact on their child’s learning, and that’s why they welcomed Knowledge Platform’s approach” Mr. Ali stated. Over the past 5 years, Mr. Ali has been able to grow his number of students from 400 to over 3000 and has also been able to increase his monthly tuition fee from PKR 1300 to PKR 2000 a month. “Every parent wants their child to be successful, and most parents understand that quality education is the surest way to achieve that outcome” Pictured below is Mr. Iftikhar with a member of his and Knowledge Platform’s team. We wish him even more success in the days and years to come!