In order to spread awareness on how an innovative partnership between popular short-video platform TikTok, ed-tech startup Edkasa and Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) benefitted millions in Pakistan, a panel discussion titled ‘Quality Education Should Not Be a Privilege’ was held at the university. The event showcased the #ExamReady campaign that set higher standards for learning outcomes in the country.
The panel saw participation from the #ExamReady team from TikTok, Edkasa and LUMS. A lively discussion ensued on how a unique partnership has paved the way for furthering the cause for quality education in Pakistan.
Dr Arshad Ahmad, Vice Chancellor of LUMS, while talking about platform learning said: “The phenomenon of platform learning was new to everyone. Our faculty and patterns; TikTok and Edkasa came in with the excitement to explore what can be done when it comes to online learning. We decided to take some bold steps to ensure the quality of education.”
Topics such as how the partnership came into being were answered by Zara Basharat Higgs, Head of Public Policy Programs and Partnerships for South Asia at TikTok, who elaborated on the motivation behind the #ExamReady campaign.
Dr Faisal Bari, Dean of the LUMS School of Education, moderated the event and addressed queries on the university’s role, and the value it brought to the partnership. Dr Faisal Bari added: “The School of Education was set up to embrace change and work towards reforming education in the local context, one of the ways we believe change can happen in Pakistan is through online learning platforms that can help us engage with students at scale”.
Dr. Yasira Waqar, Assistant Professor LUMS School of Education, elaborated on the strict process that was followed while developing the educational videos to ensure quality of education.
Annum Sadiq, Chief Education Officer and co-founder of Edkasa, conveyed how teaching while using short video format has increased engagement and learning with its benefits having reached millions in Pakistan.
The panelists also addressed how such campaigns further the cause of education, improve learning methods and, by extension, outcomes that improve the youth’s skillset.
During the event, panelists were also informed of the #ExamReady campaign’s success. In a short span, the campaign has produced 500-plus educational videos that have garnered over 550 million views on TikTok so far and awarded 20,000+ scholarships. The scholarship program itself has reached 140 districts in Pakistan and 58% of its recipients are from non-urban locations. Nearly 40% of the recipients are women and the campaign has covered a wide demographic in a short while, meeting goals such as removing barriers to education, female inclusion, and lowering cost of access.