Youth In Action
An Innovative Beginning:
A Step Forward for 1di
Photos: Ata Khan Majlish Bidhu
With the mission of making math education in Bengali enjoyable and more accessible from anywhere and anytime, hundreds of volunteers from One Degree Initiative Foundation (1di), a non-profit youth organisation embarked upon a quest of translating more than 900 mathematics videos from the renowned Khan Academy library.
1Di volunteers translated more than 900 Khan Academy videos.
Khan Academy, an education based organisation renowned for its online resources that cover topics ranging from elementary maths to genetic evolution, is known as the free classroom of the world as incepted by the famous non-resident Bangladeshi and founder of the organisation Salman Khan. However, all the Khan Academy videos related to learning and education are available on the internet only in English, which can sometimes create a language barrier for the Bangladeshi students, who often happen to be unfamiliar with the critical mathematical terms used. As a solution to the problem, a team of energetic volunteers from 1di in collaboration with Khan Academy and also Agami (a US based non-profit organisation) came forward to translate more than 900 Khan Academy math-education videos, so that students from anywhere in Bangladesh can make use of most of these videos and can also get over the fear of math.
The task involved the efforts of over 120 young volunteers from diverse backgrounds, who managed to get done with the pyramid task successfully within a span of only eight months. To celebrate the success of the magnanimous education-support project, 1di hosted an Award Conferring Ceremony for the volunteers of 'Khan Academy Translation Project 11' on April 10, 2012 at Hotel Lakeshore, Gulshan. Volunteers, who contributed greatly during different levels of the project such as video editing, commentary and human resource management, were awarded with certificates and crests.
Famous author Dr Muhammed Zafar Iqbal send a video message to 1di.
Auhona Chowdhury, an A level student and also a 1di volunteer, who won an award for human resource management, says, “I believe the idea of translating Khan Academy videos is revolutionary since it is the first time in history that students from any area in Bangladesh can access to online education resources completely in Bengali, and they would be needing no teacher or extra help as the videos are interactive enough to provide the learners with an in-depth understanding of the topic.”
The award conferring ceremony was abuzz with the presence of special guests, well-wishers and most importantly, hundreds of young volunteers. Yeafesh Osman, state minister for Science, Information and Communication technology, encouraged the young volunteers to continue with their noble task to materialise the dream of digital Bangladesh. Though physically absent in the event, renowned author and also a youth icon, Dr Muhammed Zafar Iqbal appreciated the extraordinary efforts by the volunteers towards enriching the education spectrum of Bangladesh via video-message.
Tamim Arman, an HSC examinee and also the youngest volunteer involved in the translation project, won an award in the category of video-editing. “The translation project was a good learning experience for me. Though previously I did some experiments with video editing, this project let me, for the first time, implement what I have learnt practically,” says Tamim. An ecstatic Tamim also adds, “I have an important exam day after tomorrow, but even then, I didn't want to miss the award conferring ceremony at any cost since it would be one of the most memorable events of my life.”
Multimedia presentations were screened at the programme where volunteers talked about their experiences and the projects they worked in. Sabhanaz Rashid Diya, founder of 1di says, “As the contents of all the math videos are now ready, our next challenge would be to distribute these videos properly among students all over Bangladesh. All the videos will be available on the internet, plus our volunteers will bring these videos personally to the students, even if they are living in the distant areas with no internet facilities. We still have a lot to do but through these small steps we want to make a real difference in the overall education scenario in Bangladesh.“
Sabhanaz Rashid Diya, the founder of One Degree Initiative.