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Chicago-based Kashmiri mathematician teaches students online to make up for academic loss

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Srinagar: When 24-year-old Chicago-based Kashmiri mathematician Iqra Altaf entered into a casual conversation with a class 12th student, she was pained to know that children in the valley have not been to school for the last one year due to back-to-back lockdowns.

Feeling restive, she decided to provide free online coaching to class 11th and 12th students in physics and maths. “Hello K twitter, I need help. As you know students haven’t gone to school for a long time in Kashmir, I was thinking of teaching maths and physics to students who need help with board and entrance exams. All of this will be online (I know 2G sucks but let’s try),” she tweeted.


Soon after, students flooded her with messages showing interest in online classes.  “I just got to know that students, who have not studied anything, have to appear in a board examination. I was very much pained to know all this. So I decided to spare some time from my daily routine and teach kids,” she told The Kashmir Monitor.

Hailing from Dooru Shahabad in Anantnag district, Iraq is currently pursuing a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. She has done a Master’s in Mathematics from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor’s from IIT Kanpur.

Iqra is holding two classes a week each for students of 11th and 12th. She has decided to continue this in the future as well.

“On Wednesday and Saturday, I teach students of Class XI.  On Thursday and Sunday, I teach students of 12th class,” she said.

Around 200 students of class 11th and 200 of class 12th have been taking classes through the Wise App. Wise App has been developed recently by two friends from IIT-Bombay, Mubeen Masudi from Kashmir, and Bilal Abidi from Lucknow.

“It works well on 2G. I have not started classes in physics yet,” Iqra said.

The app is a 2G-friendly video interface that allows students and teachers to cut through problems of scheduling makes teaching and assessments over the Internet easier and makes the experience as close to a real classroom as possible.