One of the biggest issues that need to be addressed in order to improve sub-standard education in Pakistan is lack of professional teacher training. E-Learning Network (ELN) comprises of a team that is passionate to address this issue.
It is an online platform for educational and quality assurance training. After spreading to 8 countries across 3 continents, they are now expanding to Pakistan and the Middle East. They are currently incubated at Nest i/o Karachi where they officially launched their services on 16th Jan 2017. Their prime focus is to raise the quality of education in Pakistan by providing specialized e-learning solutions to teachers.
Talking to Perspective, the CEO of ELN, Sana Farooq, shared her vision.
On making Education Accessible:
“I started ELN (E-Learning Network) because I believe that high quality, affordable education should be accessible to everyone, everywhere. As a Pakistani it’s also important for me that I do my part to contribute to the progress and development of our nation. I truly believe that education is the answer to a lot of problems.”
On the ELN approach:
“ELN is focused on teacher training I’m hoping to target the teachers of Pakistan. This will bring a direct and immediate improvement to the quality of education being given to our children. ELN, wants to create a difference by addressing issues faced by teachers. Although, there are other training platforms but what makes ELN unique is its global presence.’
According to her the following quote of Elon Musk perfectly captures the essence of her vision:
“Really, the only thing that makes sense is to strive for greater collective enlightenment.”
Providing global standards
The present models in Pakistan focus on local training degrees such as B.Ed. and M.Ed. The curriculum of these degrees fails to empower teachers with global techniques. All of ELN’s qualifications are globally recognized and accredited by renowned UK awarding body Pearson Edexcel.
This means, ‘if you are a teacher and want to transform the life of your students, ELN is the way to reach your goal’.
Their specialized e-learning solutions ensure that learners are trained by UK-based tutors and get an accredited qualification by Pearson. Apart from teachers training ELN is providing solutions in the domain of assessor qualifications, quality assurance and business management. For more information, the equivalency table based on Cambridge University guidelines can be accessed here :
Managing Local Recognition
Our concern is that online degrees and trainings are still a question mark for accrediting bodies like the Higher Education Commission. The team at ELN is in talks with Higher Education Commission regarding local recognition in Pakistan. However, according to ELN, Pearson has its own worth in the world and does not require a local endorsement .
Learning is the major value that will be provided and its time we consider this approach. Teacher training needs a revolutionary approach and its time we start taking it seriously.
(Sana Farooq, Founder at ELN)
Usage of ICT in Training
In addition to UK accreditation ELN also promises innovation and accessibility. The use of ICT enables teachers to access ELN online 24/7 and schedule training sessions in person. They provide customised solutions for the trainee and ensure they align with their career goals. ELN in Pakistan is providing blended solutions where they are conducting face to face sessions and workshops along with online trainings.
An Impactful Business Model
The business model for ELN is pretty simple. They charge the trainees and provide accredited e-solutions to them. The courses are affordable as one can avoid travelling and accommodation expenses to get a UK accredited qualification.
All you need is a computer or any other gadget with an internet connection to get access to our content. For the cost and course details visit E-Learning Network (Team at ELN).
Professional Development and Digital Education
The program has started its operations in Pakistan. At present 28 trainees have graduated and many others have registered for monthly workshops. ELN has completed courses with PAF Air War College in Karachi. It is also working with Karachi Vocational Training Centre (KVTC) to help them build their vocational trainings.
According to Unesco, it is important to recognise that teacher training and usage of ICT do not take place in a vacuum, and therefore need to be viewed within a larger system where the teacher is central to several conceptual domains including ICT in education policy, curriculum development through the provision of digital content, ICT-enabled pedagogy, ICT infrastructure, and organization and administration at schools.
This tells us that programs like ELN can be more effective if they operate in an environment that engages the larger system. The increased funding for edutech startups in Pakistan is a clear indicator that development funds, multilateral agencies and incubator spaces are actively seeking solutions to discipline knowledge in the above mentioned domains. We hope that ELN can prove to be a good case study for all those who want to transform the educational envrionment. The larger system requires domain specialists to take the next step and there has never been a better time for that!
Information Source: Team at ELN and Team at Perspective
About the Contributor:
Murtaza Ali Baig is studying Computer Science at LUMS. He is a young researcher interested in discovering tech startups and their business models.