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Tata Trusts & Khan Academy Partner To Provide Free Education For All! #Disruption

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Tata Trusts Khan Academy

What happens when a rich philanthropist join forces with a technology enabled social platform: The world changes for good.

In a historical move, Tata Trusts, backed by $108 billion Tata Sons, have entered into a strategic partnership with Khan Academy to provide free education for anyone, anywhere in India. This is one of the disruptive moves for the industry, which is plagued by stigma of getting paid private tuition from their own school teachers, and where high quality education is still a dream for millions of poor children.

Last week, we had reported the entry of Khan Academy into India, as they launched their specialized Hindi medium videos, especially designed for Indians. In that report, we had mentioned that 80% of their revenue comes from philanthropists, and the same model would be replicated in India as well.

And it seems that this model is working perfectly fine.

Ratan Tata said, “At the Trusts, we are positive that this collaboration will empower a generation of Indian learners through web-based personalized resources,”

Details about funding and financial aspects were not shared as of now.

What Will This Partnership Achieve?

As per available reports, Tata Trusts will leverage technology in a massive way by using Khan Academy’s existing platforms, and create customized, laser-targeted educational products for Indian students.

Besides, they will work together with other educational partners, and develop an eco-system which supports teachers as well.

Their targeted audience would be the ‘underserved’ who lack access to education due to its expense and reach. The whole program have been divided into two parts: the first stage scheduled for 2016-18 would focus on ‘incubation’, wherein educational products would be created targeted for 8-24 year old urban middle class and low income students from Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. Only Hindi and English languages would be used for content creation in this stage.

In the second stage will focus on ‘scaling’, wherein the same content would be developed in vernacular languages, starting with Tamil, Mararthi and Bengali. Special campaigns would be created for empowering rural students with infrastructure support for spreading education.

In a way, they have combined their forces to completely change the Indian educational system as we all know it.

Why Tata Chose Khan Academy?

Ratan Tata revealed that although Tata Trusts have been serving Indians since last 150 years in providing them better education, they chose Khan Academy simply because they are doing the same for free, using technology as a medium.

Khan Academy provides high quality educational videos, which are uploaded on Youtube for free; and even Bill Gates uses them for his kids. There are around 2.5 million subscribers of their Youtube channel.

Ratan Tata also said that he met Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy in US via mutual friends, and immediately hit upon ideas to change education in India.

As per Salman, “As soon as we started talking, the dots started connecting quickly. We will focus on creating content in the first phase and we are building a team in India led by Sandeep Bapna. We need to catalyze the new types of learning model.”

Tata Trusts will provide a capital of Rs 550 crore for social initiatives, out of which 80% of the funds are allocated for partnerships to reach 4 million households in the country. Some of the areas which Tata Trusts work upon include: natural resources management, rural livelihoods, urban livelihoods & poverty, education, enhancing civil society and governance, health and media arts, crafts and culture.

Rata Tata summarized this partnership brilliantly, as he said, “Today, people demand self-respect, access to knowledge and have an urge to enhance their livelihoods and Tata Trusts are committed to help them do so by creating a difference in their lives,”

More power to Khan Academy and Tata Trusts to bring in a educational revolution in India.

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