Ummid Assistant

Taj Group to train underprivileged rural youth in Maharashtra

Robotics competition for Andhra school students

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » Education & Career

American Muslim shuns plum job, devotes life to promote education

Wednesday April 24, 2013 04:10:26 PM, Agencies

Sal Khan

The Founder of Khan Academy

(Photo: Khan Academy)

London: Sal Khan (36), son of Indian and Bangladeshi immigrants, was working as a financial analyst after earning degrees from MIT and an MBA from Harvard. But now he devotes himself full-time to his Khan Academy, a tutoring, mentoring and testing educational website at


The website is offering its content free to anyone with internet access willing to work through its exercises and pithy videos and  has millions of users all across the world especially in the United States.


Using the internet to widen access to education is not itself revolutionary. The success of iTunes U applications from Apple and the rise of the massive open online courses – nicknamed Moocs – at institutions such as Stanford University show the appetite is there.

But the Khan Academy is different. Although it also carries tutorials in arts, computing and science, its core remains secondary school maths, in which it couples hand-holding video instruction with online exercises, from basic addition and multiplication to the farther reaches of algebra and calculus, The Guardian said in its report.


There's no accredited qualifications, just a self-paced course combined with sophisticated software that charts progress and highlights weaknesses, making it simple for a parent to use to help a child with homework without knowing the finer points of algebra, it said.


Describing how Sal Khan started the project which has now become his mission, The Guardian said, he started remotely tutoring his cousin, Nadia, in Louisiana, who was struggling with maths. Then the rest of the family heard there was free tutoring," he says, and more relatives started taking part. The demands got too much – until a friend suggested he could film the tutorials, post them on YouTube and let the family members view them whenever they chose.


The concept is simple. Watch a video in which Khan explains the subject being learned, and then take the online tests that follow. The software times answers as well as noting missteps, offers encouragement for doing well or even just persevering. Then, when satisfied you have mastered the topic, it invites you to move on to a related topic.

"I started this out as a hobby," The Guardian quoted Khan as telling to a packed theatre at the London School of Economics last week, after the inevitable question about his academy's not-for-profit status.


The idea has become so popular that even Bill Gates has confessed using Sal Khan's videos for his child.


"I've used Khan Academy with my kids, and I'm amazed at the breadth of Sal's subject expertise and his ability to make complicated topics understandable," Gates wrote in tribute to Khan being named one of Time's 100 most influential people of 2012.


Gates concluded, "He started by posting a math lesson, but his impact on education might truly be incalculable."


Khan is no fan of traditional education, which he derides as "lecture, homework, lecture, homework". "The real problem is that the process is broken," he tells his LSE audience, to nods of approval. "We identify the gaps [in children's knowledge], then we ignore them."








Home | Top of the Page


Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS


More Headlines

Panic in US as AP's hacked twitter account reports blast at White House

Violence in Deoband after vendor dies in police baton charge

SEBI asks Saradha to wind up schemes, return money to depositors

Economy bottomed out; to grow at 6.4 percent in 2013-14: PM panel

Influx of Muslim students in America should be stopped: Fox News analyst

Protests against Saradha Group in Assam, several offices ransacked

India asks China to maintain status quo ante on border

Hyderabad woman ends life after tiff over TV remote

Hamas welcomes Erdogan's resolve to go ahead with Gaza visit

Subsidised foodgrain: SC disallows discrimination


Top Stories

Parliament Session

Lok Sabha adjourned for day over 'quit PM' demands

The Lok Sabha was Tuesday adjourned for the day amid noisy demands by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for Prime Minister Manmohan  »

Parliament disruptions: A negation of democracy?

Concern over child's rape, 2G and coal stall parliament

Live telecast may be suspended if Rajya Sabha disrupted: Ansari

UPA counts numbers ahead of parliament session


  Most Read

India China Border Row

India asks China to maintain status quo ante on border

India Tuesday said it has asked China to maintain the status quo that existed before the April 15 incursion by Chinese troops in the Depsang area of the western sector  »

Indian Economy

Economy bottomed out; to grow at 6.4 percent in 2013-14: PM panel

The Indian economy has "bottomed out" and is expected to grow at 6.4 percent in the current fiscal against the estimated 5 percent expansion registered in the previous year, the prime minister's economic advisory panel said Tuesday. "The economy  »


  News Pick

US Ignored

Hamas welcomes Erdogan's resolve to go ahead with Gaza visit

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh welcomed Tuesday Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's  »

Hate Campaign

Influx of Muslim students in America should be stopped: Fox News analyst

A media analyst from Fox News has said “we should keep any more Muslims from studying” in the United States because “so many people hate »

Job or passion? Enjoy both as new career opportunities open up

There was a time when work and passion were two different things. However, with advances in the digital and electronic world and change in business practices, that demarcation line is getting blurred and new careers are  »

Dictator in Trouble

Court orders Musharraf be probed in Bhutto's murder

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court, conducting the trial of suspects charged with involvement in the 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto  »


Picture of the Day

A view of the newly Commissioned Indian Coast Guard Ship H-191, in Mumbai Harbour on April 09, 2013.


Recommend the story to your friends



RSS  |  Contact us


| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant



Science & Technology



About us




Government Schemes










Contact us


The Funny Side

Education & Career Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

© 2012 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.