Nafham: Education for All
Eihab Boraie talks to the CMO of Nafham, a brilliant online initiative that makes up for the the shortfalls in Egypt's education system by offering free online learning programmes.
In these turbulent times, one of the only topics all Egyptians can agree on is the failure of the public education system. It is this very same system that is at the heart of all problems gripping Egypt. Waiting for the government to fix this problem is not a solution, as very often it takes forever for Egyptians to actually elect officials, and when they do it takes even longer for those officials to make any sort of positive impact.
Thankfully, there are concerned Egyptians that are tired of relying on the government to fix their country, and have taken matters into their own hands. Sarah Tabakh is one of these Egyptians who, along with Ahmed Alfi, Mohamed Habib, Mostafa Farahat, have decided to make a difference by bringing Egyptians the wonderfully fresh Nafham project. Acting as the Chief Marketing Officer, Tabakh was gracious enough to take time out of her schedule, to answer our questions and enlighten on us on this very important service.
Nafham is an initiative that provides Egyptians access to free, online educational service for the children who are being left behind in a system that only offers over-crowded classrooms and thus very limited direct teacher support which results in parents paying for private tuition for their children to be able to keep up, putting pressure on the household's finances. Since launching almost a year ago, Nafham has seen an average of 2 million page views per month, and have over 300,000 unique visitors to their site so far. To the surprise of Tabakh, “not only students come to us, but mothers are highly interested and active on our website.” Mothers are not only learning from the programme, but many are devotedly engaged on the site, contributing helpful videos and documents for Nafham users.
With every passing month, Nafham grows bigger and their network gets wider. What started off as a programme in Egypt is quickly spreading to neighbouring countries, and is now also available in Palestine and Syria, and soon will be launching in UAE, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. Currently, they have about 15 teachers that follow the Egyptian curriculum, and many dedicated volunteers “revising all materials and approving the quality of the material,” as Tabakh explains. The initiative hopes that as it grows it may be able to offer further services and ultimately launch an online university assistance programme in the near future. In the immediate future, however, Nafham “will develop more interactive programmes and joint initiatives with other foundations and CSR divisions to reach more people and make a positive impact not only in Egypt but across the region.”
Since the launch of the programme, Nafham has received plenty of letters and emails from parents thanking them for the difference the site has made in their children's live. Tabakh acknowledges that Nafham is not a “governmental entity and so we don’t have any authorised certificates to award,” but adds that “We do believe that being educated is not only by having a certificate that says that…rather, it’s a will of being a better person.”
For the many parents who can't afford to send their kids to good schools or private classes, Nafham is a godsend. It is hard to imagine Egypt having a functioning democracy without an educated population. This service is direly needed and, in short, is inspirational as all to often Egyptians talk about changes needed but never follow through with actions. Depending on the government to solve all of Egypt's problem is futile and, thankfully, Nafham is proving that positive changes can be made by individuals with big hearts and sharp minds. Hopefully this will pave a path for other concerned Egyptian to take up the task of fixing their own country now, instead of waiting for someone else to do it tomorrow.
Find out more and get learning on www.Nafham.com