Real education is not tangible and results from investment and work done now can only be accurately measured twenty years after reforms are made. While certain improvements — in infrastructure and management — are accessible immediately, the essence of education is not: improving teaching and therefore student outcomes. While in the short run we can measure the change in children’s test scores, the true impact is what the students achieve later in life. In Imran Khan’s “Naya Pakistan” education is held in higher regard than ever before. Still, with a literacy rate below 58 percent, addressing the challenges in education is vital if we are to see any economic growth and improvements in standard of living in the future. Accepting there is a problem and working towards fixing it is key; what is equally important is the route taken. We must move forward on all fronts simultaneously, otherwise we risk cancelling out progress made in other areas. There are two related principal issues when you consider the problem of education in Pakistan. The first is a lack of teachers and the second is the lack of qualified teachers. In most government schools many teachers do not even show up, and even in adopted schools, teachers are not trained enough or educated enough to pass on information to their students. Taken together, they underscore the necessity for technology-based learning or at least blended learning. These issues led me to EDeQUAL, which offers high quality instructional content, organized according to the Pakistan National Curriculum. This product eliminates both of the major problems identified above. Firstly, it does not need skilled teachers to operate or even to provide teaching aid. Being easy to use, once the children are familiar they no longer require a skilled teacher. Secondly, EDeQUAL works through three stages — student learning through instructional videos, consolidating concepts through guided practice and then mastery through a final assessment. As such, this could counter the problem of teachers not coming to school. However, to maintain employment, another challenge Pakistan faces, EDeQUAL could and should be used as a blended learning tool. To make use of EDeQUAL’s highly scalable technology platform, only the delivery method must be implemented into schools. And although EDeQUAL needs a computer lab to run its software, this is the only real cost associated with the product. Some schools already have computer labs and hence implementation requires little additional expenditure. The process then is simply teacher training workshops conducted by the EDeQUAL team along with monitoring of the implementation and regular troubleshooting. While the children’s scores tell us a success story, looking towards the future, the work they will do for their country will be the true outcome. This is an investment we as a country must make towards the future of our children and country even If we do not see the fruits of our labour straight away EDeQUAL’s success has been proven in various schools including Khatoon-e-Pakistan where student’s scores went from 24 percent to 73 percent within four months. It is notable the product is three times more efficient than regular teaching methods. What children learn with EDeQUAL in four months is equivalent to what they would normally learn in school in an entire year. Knowing I could make a difference I decided to take up the opportunity to head their implementation in Kiran Foundation’s school in Lyari. I spent months studying the product inside and out at their offices to ensure I would be able to answer any questions and resolve any problems that may arise during the implementation. While the Kiran school is an oasis for the children who study there the education currently simply did not meet the requirements for what they deserve. Children need a strong foundation in core subjects, specially Mathematics, without which they simply cannot live an “educated” life. At the start of the project, I conducted a base line test with my team of all students from grade 3 to grade 6. Everyone was given a grade 3 equivalency test. A majority of students failed confirming their lack of skill. During initial implementation numerous problems were encountered, the main one being students and teachers were using the product ineffectively. The software has three phases: guided practice, independent practice and mastery assessment. The first is the only one in which teachers should help students and the other two are supposed to be taken as a test or exam to build the child’s individual learning. Teachers felt the need to help students whenever they got stuck in these and hence led to false results on their progress sheets. We knew this problem had to be addressed with urgency, as it would otherwise render the product ineffective. Teachers needed to be taught they were hindering their students’ progress. After explaining this to them in great detail, within two weeks we began to see a marked improvement in the children’s usage of the product. While on the surface their scores fell during this period, this was a far better and more accurate representation-knowing where they were struggling allowed them to go back and work on what they had missed out on. Our team, which included two other high school girls, Maya and Sana, visited regularly on Saturdays. As the teachers became more comfortable with their usage of the product, our sessions become more useful as the focus shifted to addressing issues they faced during the week such as a temporary inability to access students’ scores. In the next phase, the product was tailored to the needs of each student, permitting teachers to focus on the students who needed the most help without holding the entire class back. Teachers, seeing students’ progress, began using the products on their own to improve their own learning so they could help students understand the topic even better. Eventually, EDeQUAL became the sole Mathematics instruction for grades 3 to 6 at the Kiran Foundation’s school. My most recent visit made me realize the full impact of this product on student’s lives. While taking interviews, I was happy to see that compared to before not only do students understand Mathematics better, but they are enjoying it as well. This confirmed for me the conclusion that for a country like Pakistan, a technology-based solution is the best way to improve literacy. Both cost effective and proven to work, this solution is what we need to ensure underprivileged children get the same chance at a brighter future as anyone else. While the children’s scores tell us a success story, looking towards the future, the work they will do for their country will be the true outcome. This is an investment we as a country must make towards the future of our children and country even If we do not see the fruits of our labour straight away. Incredibly motivated by the success so far, my team and I have decided we will champion this educational change in other schools as well. We have already set our sights on a school in the rural area of southern Punjab. That implementation will no doubt have its own particular set of problems and adventures but we are certain we can impact the lives of more children and improve the future of Pakistan. We are looking towards long-term measures of success, but these small improvements in their scores and understanding are enough motivation for us. We hope that our work acts as a precedent for other students to also take charge. Recognize your privilege and reach out and help your fellow citizens. Sophiya Shams Rafi is currently studying at Karachi Grammar School and is in her final year of A-Levels. Sophiya while excelling academically has done various thing outside that realm as well. Sophiya is a part of her schools Model United Nations team and has won accolades at a karachi competition such as MUN IBA and BAYMUN and has also secured the best delegate award at LUMUN in the first year of her A-Levels. Sophiya has also volunteered at The Kidney Center and has raised money for AAS trust through a charity play in which she acted in as well. Sophiya strongly believes in the power of education in transforming the lives of future generation and therefore has started her project NayaSabaq Published in Daily Times, October 19th 2018.