For years YouTube has been the go-to destination for self-entertainment and it continues to do so to this very day. These days, however, those who seek something more insightful can find what they are looking for on the same platform. High quality educational content in Arabic is now available in abundance on YouTube, which enables anyone with an internet connection to access and view it anytime from anywhere. Content covers everything from pre-school education all the way to master’s degrees and PhDs.
Tahrir Academy is one such entity that has taken self-education and self-empowerment to the web with the power of video. Their aim is to empower a generation of knowledge seekers, critical thinkers and future leaders. They believe that this will ultimately lead to the development of critical thinking skills and the creation of a strong link between knowledge and reality. The curriculum produced by Tahrir Academy tackles the general issues of interest to the 13-18 year-old Egyptian youth demographic.
Tahrir Academy functions by manner of a network of clubs. These clubs allow for the continuous expansion of Tahrir Academy’s community base as well as the dissemination of their message into its direct and indirect audiences. The notion focuses on bringing together different people from a wide variety of backgrounds, interests and skills who can pool their collective knowledge and resources in order to create educational content. Via this action of crowd-sourcing their work flow, Tahrir Academy emphasises their focus on spreading the culture of knowledge and critical thinking, ultimately expanding their effect and reaching their audiences.
Currently, more than 30 Tahrir Academy clubs exist in Cairo, Alexandria and Daqahleya as well as many more initiated by Egyptian expats across the globe. There have been more than 440 videos produced thus far. Tahrir Academy aims to scale that into more than 1,000 educational videos, with 50% of the videos produced by Tahrir Academy clubs in 2014. Collectively, their content has received 4,229,539 views as of today.
Tahrir Academy has already made a difference for numerous students and educators in Egypt, with many families shifting from private tutorship towards total dependency on Tahrir Academy’s curriculum on YouTube alone. In addition to aiding students with direct learning, the curriculum has also been commended by families for involving the parents in the educational process; particularly illiterate parents.
The greatest impact of technology is on education; access to technology for all students and educators alike supports effective learning and teaching. The presence of the curricula on the Web allows for wider access and more interactivity with the material. The presence of the curricula on the Web – for free – removes a large financial burden from families in Egypt on account of hefty private tutorship fees.
In addition to alleviating burdens from parents on account of private tutorship fees, the availability of educational content for Egyptian students on YouTube highlights the increase of high quality Arabic content on the Web. The availability of the content online can benefit future generations and can be accessed anytime, anywhere from any device.