Georgetown Graduate At Qf Named A Winner Of A 2021 Wise Award For Education Innovation
Taleemabad, an innovative learning program for primary grades students co-founded by Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) graduate Haroon Yasin, was named a winner of a 2021 WISE Award by The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE).
Taleemabad was one of six projects recognized by WISE, and will receive a $20,000 prize to support Taleemabad's recent expansion into offline classrooms through partnerships with private schools in Pakistan.
Through Taleemabad Schools, Yasin offers private schools serving local communities an entire suite of products, including digital teacher training, the program’s original mobile app and classroom content that are aligned with the National Curriculum of Pakistan, and administrative support. It’s a partnership that Yasin hopes will help overcome a major education challenge facing Pakistan.
“In the past two decades, Pakistan has seen an explosion in the low fee private school market. The problem is that there is no oversight, no consistency in the curriculum, and no support, which means students aren’t reaching their optimal learning goals, and putting schools at risk of closing. So we are going to these schools to offer everything they need to run their school and to protect children’s right to an education.”
Yasin says bringing stability to the education sector also benefits entrepreneurs, teachers, and staff who are highly qualified but lack job opportunities.
The Taleemabad team has launched 8 of these schools in the past 6 months and is working to grow a team of employees and partners to launch 1000 more over the next 3 years. Their ultimate vision is to embed the system in all public and private schools in Pakistan.
Noting that Taleemabad was launched at the 2014 WISE Summit, Yasin credits his win to Qatar Foundation, and the partner organizations that support its mission for human development. “There aren't a lot of places in the world where you can get the education and support that Georgetown offers, combined with the networking and EdTech incubators and accelerator programs offered by QF and WISE. That's a mix that's very rare. And that's what has propelled us to success,” said Haroon, who named his program Taleemabad, Urdu for “Education City”, in recognition of that model.
Yasin launched the small educational startup, a digital streaming program that uses cartoon characters to make learning fun for children, as a senior at GU-Q.
Aligned with Pakistan’s national curriculum, Taleemabad has now been downloaded 1.5 million times on the Apple and Google and app stores, and reaches a daily audience of 8.5 million viewers across Pakistan through the nation’s radio and TV Teleschool channels, launched by Prime Minister Imran Khan in response to the pandemic’s disruption to education.
Recognition for Yasin’s contributions to education includes a recent appointment to the Pakistan Prime Minister's Youth Cabinet, a parliament and cabinet advisory body that counsels the Prime Minister and lawmakers on issues that affect young people.
The six WISE award winning projects will be celebrated at the upcoming WISE Summit "Generation Unmute: Reclaiming our Future through Education" in December 2021. In addition to the prize money, each winning organization will benefit from publicity and networking opportunities for expansion and future development.
Georgetown University in Qatar
Established in 1789 in Washington, DC, Georgetown University is one of the world’s leading academic and research institutions. Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q), founded in 2005 in partnership with Qatar Foundation, seeks to build upon the world-class reputation of the university through education, research, and service. Inspired by the university’s mission of promoting intellectual, ethical, and spiritual understanding, GU-Q aims to advance knowledge and provide students and the community with a holistic educational experience that produces global citizens committed to the service of humankind.
Located in Doha’s Education City, GU-Q offers the same internationally recognized Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree as Georgetown’s Capitol Campus in Washington, DC. This unique, interdisciplinary program prepares students to tackle the most important and pressing global issues by helping them develop critical thinking, analytic, and communication skills within an international context. GU-Q alumni work in leading local and international organizations across industries ranging from finance to energy, education, and media. The Qatar campus also serves as a residency and delivery location for the Executive Master’s in Emergency and Disaster Management along with the Executive Master’s in Leadership.