The next big revolution? Ratan Tata backs Khan Academy to make education free and accessible to everyone


Ratan Tata, Tata Trusts (Left) – Salman Khan, Khan Academy (Right)

The iconic not-for-profit organisation Khan Academy has partnered with the equally iconicTata Trusts to create specialised, freely available online content tailor-made for India. The multi-million dollar partnership will not only hire Indian teachers but also create online content in Indian languages, primarily based on NCERT textbooks.

YourStory sees this as a potential revolution in the field of education, for students who struggle to access quality education, for teachers, for schools, for content developers and for edutech startups across India. And also eventually becoming a medium to bring transparency and accessibility in the multi billion dollar education sector in India. Khan Academy founder Salman Khan said he was open to working with ed-tech startups in India to be able to realise the organisation’s vision to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.

What’s interesting is that the content will be made available both offline and online through low-cost devices. Khan Academy already has pilot programmes underway in various schools, which also aim to help teachers improve their own skills. It also hopes to rope in professionals who want to teach and therefore impact millions of lives. The problem of access to education in India, let alone quality education, is a complex one. Khan Academy’s tutorials don’t intend to replace teachers, only to free them up to focus on giving students additional help.

Tata described Khan and his approach as “refreshingly different” in the way it aims at not only changing the world from illiterate to literate but also provides knowledge to anybody, anywhere and at any time – a model that will exponentially increase the reach of the $109 billion Tata Trusts.

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