Learning During Corona Times: How this Startup is Helping Students Learn from Home during COVID-19 Lockdown in Pakistan

Sabaq is Pakistan’s award-winning app for kids’ learning, leveraging the use of technology through fun activities to increase student engagement and improve learning outcomes. Hasan bin Rizwan, the co-founder of Sabaq, highlights how they’re company is working on imparting education to kids in Pakistan during the Corona Virus lockdown. 

 

How has the current COVID-19 situation affected your business? 

 

Since SABAQ is working in the EdTech sector, it is being affected by school closures across Pakistan due to the COVID-19 situation. To ensure that students still continue to learn during these trying times, SABAQ has made its app free during this time to help students learn remotely. We are now working harder to digitally promote this offer to parents across Pakistan so that they can use our resources to deliver engaging lessons to their children.  We are also exploring partnerships with the government and other educational stakeholders to devise ways to ensure that our learning content reaches a broader audience through mass media such as TV channels.

 

In terms of business operations, however, lockdowns and business closures make it difficult to reach out to customers and other business partners. Working remotely also comes with its own sets of challenges, including connectivity, coordination, etc. which need to be managed.

 
What are you doing to keep your operations up and running during these times? 

 

As a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the virus and protect the health of its employees, SABAQ had already implemented a work from home policy for its employees before the COVID-19 lockdown. With the ongoing lockdown situation, we have decided to extend this policy. All employees work remotely during office hours and coordinate with their team using video conferencing and other collaborative tools. Each employee has specific goals and sets their daily/weekly tasks accordingly. There is a daily remote meeting of all the supervisors to discuss departmental progress and challenges faced to gauge if any department requires facilitation. We also hold organization-wide meetings to collect feedback from employees about the work from home policy.

 
Which tools are you using to stay productive and for keeping in touch with your team? 

 

For video/ audio calls: Microsoft Teams, Zoom; for interoffice communication and coordination: Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp, Office 365, Microsoft Outlook; For file sharing, editing and collaboration: Office 365 online, One Drive; For project management: Trello; For lead management: Bitrix

 

What are you doing to stay positive? 

 

Although the situation seems to be quite bleak at the moment, it is really important to stay positive and not lose hope. For my team and I, the greatest motivator is the fact that we can use our product to empower children and parents during this critical time. This allows us to shift focus from a passive attitude towards the crisis and adopt a more action-oriented course to the problem.


This crisis has shown us that the world will be different once we move past this situation. How will you pivot and what would you do differently in a post-Corona world?

 

Personally, the primary thing that the Coronavirus crisis has brought to light is the unlimited power of technology to deliver education to children during times of crisis, without the barriers of geography. The crisis has taught us that learning does not need to be confined to classrooms and we need to get used to a new normal – using technology as the primary resource for learning and teaching.

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