MADRID, Spain — Online learning service Khan Academy is in talks with a philanthropist in the United States to advance efforts in the Philippines, its founder said.
“I just met a philanthropist in New York. She is Filipino by birth and she is very interested in accelerating Filipino efforts,” Khan Academy founder Sal Khan told reporters at the recent South Summit 2022, a global business summit in Madrid co- organized by IE University.
“She was saying that the Philippines is systematically taught in English, especially at the secondary level, and that it is very close to the American system fundamentally,” he added.
The Khan Academy, which launched in 2005, offers free online learning materials for all ages, including hands-on exercises and instructional videos. It covers, among others, mathematics, science, computer science, history, art history and economics.
According to Mr. Khan, the resources are localized and translated into more than 36 languages,
Supported by individual contributions, the organization advocates for “free, world-class education for everyone, anywhere”.
Khan Academy is not yet widely used in the Philippines, according to Khan.
North America accounts for 50% of the Academy’s 20-30 million monthly users. It has a significant number of users in Brazil and India, Khan said.
To accelerate its efforts in the Philippines, Khan Academy will likely need $2 million a year, he noted.
“The $2 million is our baseline. With $2 million a year, we could then get a team in the Philippines to start localizing the content. We could start hiring people to start working with the government, start getting into schools and start training teachers. »
He also welcomed the entry of Starlink Internet Services Philippines, Inc., a subsidiary of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. of Elon Musk, on the local scene, which is expected to fill connectivity gaps in unserved and underserved areas of the country.
“I think everyone now, especially with the pandemic, understands that it’s important — that just being connected to the world is important,” he said.
“If you can just provide these kids with devices and reasonable internet access, you’re basically giving them a lifeline, you’re at least giving them a safety net education that might be better in some cases than what they got. access.”
Mr Khan also said the pandemic had caused a substantial increase in the typical number of users on the platform.
“Normally, we had about 25 to 30 million minutes of learning per day. This rose to 85 million minutes of learning per day in the first week of the pandemic. So a lot of people lived on that kind of resource.
“I think it’s good that we had Zoom and Khan Academy and all those resources, but I think because it happened so fast, it was, I mean, it was a lot worse if we didn’t. didn’t have all of these resources online, but we didn’t have time to think about them and so a lot of people probably didn’t have optimal experiences being on a video conference all day or whatever they use to learn,” he added.
He stressed the need to prepare for the next emergency.
“Let’s make sure there’s a safety net, and you know it’s not just during a pandemic that we need a safety net. We need a safety net when we have refugees. Let’s look at what is happening in Ukraine right now and see how these children are learning. — Arjay L. Balinbin