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Beyond the Classroom Education

Beyond the Classroom Education (formerly known as The History Project) graduated from Cambridge Social Ventures in January 2017.

Idea

Central to Beyond the Classroom Education's (BTC) ethos is a deep belief that it is wrong to teach people to hate, and that our future generations need to be empowered to listen, think for themselves and recognise the significance of coexistence.

Beyond the Classroom empowers teachers in areas of conflict around the world to encourage a culture of understanding, empathy and meaningful debate on pressing issues, increasing the potential for peace.

The absence of these values is painfully visible in the UK, US, Pakistan and other places as these societies struggle to hold a meaningful debate about nationality and cultural difference.

Beyond the Classroom Education launched their first book 'The History Project', with the core objective to foster a culture of critical thought amongst students by placing competing national textbook narratives side-by-side.

In recognition of the reality that content alone represents an important yet inadequate step in the vigil for social change, Beyond the Classroom Education created bite-sized and affordable offerings for students across economic strata that focus on three core values:

  • Developing a better understanding of identity
  • Critical independent thinking
  • Empathy

All programs are delivered through active learning workshops which are designed around BTC's proprietary ACRO education delivery method that has a proven record of making classrooms fun and engaging for students.

People

Ayyaz Ahmad moved to Cambridge in 2014 to study for an MBA. Co-founding The History Project in 2011 was a natural extension of his interest and experiences in integrating design thinking, innovation and technology with business strategy, operations and marketing to build commercially viable and impactful solutions.

Past experience includes education, public policy, publishing and sustainability consulting for organisations including The World Bank and Google. In each sector, Ayyaz's primary motivation has been to look at challenging problems and build new solutions by combining his background in humanities and his interest in innovation.

Qasim Aslam is an Acumen fellow, Laureate Global fellow and an Asia21 Emerging Leader. Qasim started his first company at the age of 22 and is currently also a partner at Arbisoft, Pakistan's third fastest growing tech company.

Impact

Beyond the Classroom Education aims to equip future generations with critical thinking skills and the true understanding that comes from considering multiple perspectives. We think that it is wrong to teach people, especially children, to hate. That is the real issue that we are trying to address.

BTC's programs scaled 60 school campuses across Pakistan, with more than 3,000 direct beneficiaries in five cities within their first year. BTC is now planning to scale to 300 more campuses in the next 24 months within Sindh, with the eventual aim to begin conversations with provincial governments to influence educational policy.

The History Project logo

Get in touch

Beyond the Classroom Education is interested in connecting with impact investors, as well as universities and schools in the UK that are trying to deal with the idea of tolerance and understanding the other side. Ayyaz would also be interested in introductions to any expat communities and community hubs for South Asian parents who are interested in the concept, as well as people working on related education policy in UK educational establishments.

ayyaz.ahmad@cantab.net

thehistory-project.org