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Ilm (Knowledge) on Wheels

When you can't bring students to new technology, the best way forward is to take the technology to the students for education.

Photo of Saad Hamid
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The Ilm on Wheels Program was implemented in Pakistan as a pilot for enhancing mathematical learning in rural Pakistani schools using internet-enabled tablets and multimedia systems delivered by a satellite-enabled mobile van. Directly targeting approximately 300 students, the project aimed to improve the quality of education through broad-based innovative access that would ultimately lead to enhanced learning competency and a higher school retention rate.

During class, educational videos were played for students, followed by solving practice questions facilitated by a live tutor connected remotely via the mobile van. Video content is based on Khan Academy's video lessons, mapped to fit the Pakistani national curriculum, and adapted for local use by replacing English with Urdu text. In addition, supplementary videos were produced directly by Tele Taleem for lessons not covered by Khan Academy materials. 

After class, students receive tablet PCs to conduct personalized practice sessions, which instantly generate a constructive assessment report. This report is then shared with the Math Teacher at the respective school by the project-assigned Coordinator to identify corrective actions and ways for improvement. 

At the end of the daily session, students continue to use the tablet to access other curriculum-specific videos and play educational games, in order to reinforce learning and motivation.

This model gives an idea about how hybrid learning (traditional + digital) can help boost the learning curve of the students.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Kashif Zahid

Hi Saad,

This is very nice to know. Are you involved with these guys personally or you just happen to know about them? Is there a way to know more information about them like their experiences, difficulties and if they are non-profit or not?

We are working on a similar (but different) idea and audience is different.

Let me know your thoughts, and nice to know we belong to same country.

Will be looking forward to bounce more ideas with you.


Photo of Saad Hamid

Kashif - good to see you here. I used to work for Ilm Ideas which is an education innovation fund and while I was there, Ilm on Wheels was one of our grantees. They are a for profit social enterprise.

The project is managed by a tech company called Tele Taleem. More info on the link below

Love the idea that you posted and I will be sharing my thoughts once I read in detail. Thanks!

Photo of Hannah Tran

This is great idea and very useful for rural or remote areas where have less opportunity to approach technology and internet. However, I really want to know the cost for a van of this program which decide the possibility to run it in others developing countries. Also, how do you classify students in each village (or area) you visit? Do you have different courses for them?
Finally, this topic is to find education solution for refugees so I hope you will have specialised programs for refugee students. Differences in language, living condition might be barriers to them in approaching education.

Photo of Sophie Nazerian

Great work! Do you have any information about learning outcomes?

Photo of Shane Zhao

What a fantastic initiative Saad! Yes, to echo Sophie's curiosity about the learning outcomes - it'd be great to get a better sense of how this initiative was received by the students and the school. How many learning vans were required to serve 300 students and are there plans to scale this program in other parts of Pakistan? Thanks for the share!

Photo of Khurram Sultan

In year 1, learning outcomes of children in intervention schools improved by more than 20% when compared to control schools in the same area. Based on the excellent results the intervention was scaled to 50 schools benefiting over 7000 students in year 2. In addition to Grade 5 Math, Early Grade Literacy and Numeracy (in partnership with Save the Children) programs were adapted for local use in Pakistan, integrated with TeleTaleem's ICT delivery platform and added to the program portfolio. The results again show significant improvement in learning outcome of children in intervention schools versus the control schools. A third-party evaluation commissioned by Ilm-Ideas (who are managing the program for DFID) have validated the results.

The program has been renamed as "Learning Boost" and is currently operating in more than 300 schools in various disadvantaged districts of Pakistan. For more details, feel free to contact me.

Photo of Khurram Sultan

And to answer the other question, one van can reach out to 100-120 schools depending on the geographical area and concentration of schools, directly benefiting 200-300 teachers and approx 15,000 students in an academic year.