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A Smile That Brightened Millions of Lives in 10 Minutes

By: Ishrar Tabenda Hasan

· Asia,Education,Technology,Startup,Social Entrep

Within 10 minutes, with his brightened smile, Ayman Sadiq seems to teleport among the lives of millions, showcasing that education can be both fun and interesting via his online learning platform – 10 Minute School.

Ayman Sadiq is a known name amidst the hustle and bustle of Bangladeshi lives. Anyone who has heard of him would know that he is a social entrepreneur, an internet personality and a public speaker, and who this year, was knighted by receiving the Queen’s Young Leader Award for creating access to quality education for millions of students in Bangladesh. He also bagged his name on Forbes as one of the 30 Social Entrepreneurs in Asia under 30, this same year. More commonly, he is known as a teacher and mentor, not only to the online user base, but also to his team members. His mantra of quality education for all is always upheld.

Ayman Sadiq with three silver play button from Youtube.

Photo from 10 Minute School

10 Minute School is an online education platform that is by the students, through the students, and for the students. With eight instructors back in the year 2015, 10 Minute School was born. Over the years, they have handpicked over a hundred employees who are now working towards solving problems that are thwarting the education of students in Bangladesh through creating quality content. 10 Minute school offers six kinds of content namely, video tutorials, live classes, quizzes, smart books, blogs, and a learner community on Facebook.

Challenges along the way

10 Minute School chief instructor Sakib Bin Rashid doing a live lecture.

Photo from 10 Minute School

“Every day we provide education to 2.5 lacs (250,000) students, free of cost. At this time, we had to face a lot of challenges such as the quality of our videos and how we will reach to more new students, especially, the students who are residing outside our capital city, Dhaka. So, we came up with an activation mantra where we regularly visited the 64 divisional districts in our country, in a succession,” Ayman Sadiq shared.

He continues, “If I had to stress on our biggest challenges more, then I’d say that since our entire online educational platform is free for use, sustaining the entire 10 Minute School operations team, logistics, and production have been challenging. As we are not taking any sort of subscription fees or payments from our end users for the sole purpose of making our platform ‘free’, this has been the toughest thing I had to do in running 10 Minute School.”

According to 10 Minute School’s Chief-Instructor, Sakib Bin Rashid, they have been receiving requests for an app from students. Hence, they’ve decided to move into this venture, as an app makes an education system handier. Currently, a future challenge for them is building the new app – 10 Minute School App. Before launching the app, they are on the process of checking their 9000 videos to assure ultimate quality assurance. “Because the last thing we want to do is give out any sort of wrong information. We want to ensure no students are harmed for any of our attempts to bring quality education,” Sakib said.

Live lecture with Ayman Sadiq.

Photo from 10 Minute School

Great minds behind the ideas

When asked how he comes up with his best ideas, Ayman says, “In 10 Minute School, we have more than 100 instructors, who contribute many ideas from their different sources. So it’s not just my ideas solely. With a combination of different members’ ideas, shows are being formed and constructed. New plans, videos, playlists and courses have been made through all of them. So, yep, that’s the source of many people’s ideas.”

A United Team

10 Minute School aims to have a more organized team, with a hint of being more responsible and structured; taking better implemented decisions; including people into the decision-making process; hearing these people out and if someone is not present in the field, then someone else ought to take a lead in order to present their ideas and decision makings in the table. They try to listen to each of their employees’ voices, ideas, insights and feedbacks. Their unity provides benefits, not only to the outsiders (student user base) but also to everyone who works for 10 Minute School.

Sakib describes his team members as brilliant people. “I am really proud of them. Despite making mistakes, they build brilliant things. Sometimes we fall into a problem and the solution solves not only the problem itself, but also, it solves something much bigger. So, we love mistakes as so much is achieved by learning from them. Ergo, I am really proud of these people and am proud of the mistakes they make.”

Behind the Scene - doing live lecture with 10 Minute School team.

Photo from 10 Minute School

Ensuring Access for all

Google’s My Line (6000913) lets Colombians call Google Assistant for all their queries due to lack of proper internet access. When asked what his plans were for Bangladeshi people for that same problem, Ayman says, “The students who don’t have proper access to the internet, reaching out to them have been geographically difficult. But, we have signed a tri-party agreement with Robi Axiata Limited and the ICT State division in Bangladesh to create Sheikh Russel digital laboratories in various educational institutions, sending our content to around 3000 digital labs. Each lab has infrastructural support being provided by the ICT State Division for around 3000 schools, internet support provided by Robi Axiata Limited and content by, directly. This support is increasing day by day and I am hopeful that in the near future more students will have access to our contents.”

Ayman Sadiq with his student fans.

Photo from 10 Minute School

To lead or to follow?

When asked to choose between leading or following, Ayman answered, “You have to follow and you have to lead—because if one wants to learn to lead then one needs to follow someone, or some organizations, or some ideologies, or some frameworks or some planning. So, at first the notion that should come is to follow. If we don’t learn by following, then while we attempt to lead, a lot of mistakes are bound to happen. Therefore, one needs to follow some frameworks, ideas, case studies, and practices, and only after that I believe one can be a good leader. It’s an ever going and an ever-growing process.”

Thus, this has been 10 Minute School’s 3-year journey so far—gathering and creating content for enhanced, accessible, quality education.

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