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Posted On: 10 January 2022 07:00 pm
Updated On: 10 January 2022 09:47 pm

Get to know Doha-based student Priyanka Bansal and her free education website

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Get to know Doha-based student Priyanka Bansal and her free education website

Out of frustration after spending hours surfing the internet looking for an online platform where she can teach other young students, 16-year-old Priyanka Bansal found the motivation to create a website herself.

In just one year, her interactive website now has over 150 users, including student tutors who are able and willing to assist other students for free, as part of their community service.

The (ILQ) team got in touch with the grade 11 student to get to know a little bit about her, the website, and how students can get involved with her amazing initiative!

ILQ: Please tell us about yourself.

Priyanka: My name is Priyanka Bansal, a 17-year-old student at DPS Modern Indian School-Doha, with a passion for education. I love reading, writing, and playing the piano. I take an avid interest in education and health issues around the world. I was born in Qatar, making it a place I hold very dear to my heart. I live here with my parents who are originally from Punjab, India.

ILQ: What is the story behind Tutors & Students? How was the website born?

Get to know Doha-based student Priyanka Bansal and her free education website
Image credit: Priyanka Bansal

Priyanka: Tutors & Students is an online platform where students like myself are provided with an opportunity to tutor and educate those that require it. Students from various age groups are educated on this platform. In a gist, my website gives students like myself an opportunity to be a mentor and a tutor to students who need academic guidance.

As for how the website was born, it started when I spent hours surfing the Internet, trying to find online tutoring opportunities, where I could teach students of my age and those who are younger than me. Every site I visited for tutoring had provisions for adults who have degrees and qualifications to teach students, but when it came to high schoolers like myself teaching, I didn’t find any.

I even tried searching for opportunities in other countries as this was during the COVID-19 pandemic, and everything had switched to remote platforms. Nothing had provided me with a solution. Then my mother told me, “Why don’t you just make your own solution, then?”

My mom’s words literally sort of just sparked something in me. I started coming up with my own fantasy world, where I had my own website, and I provided free classes to students. So, one day I decided to do it. I looked up some online tutorials and with my cousin’s help, managed to establish a site that fulfilled all my needs and also provided a platform to others like me.

ILQ: What do you want to achieve with this initiative?

Priyanka: The purpose of the website is simple: to promote education and give opportunities to those who don't have access to them. The goal is to offer services and courses that promote student success in a collaborative and inclusive environment. Peer-to-peer interactions, supported by the site, center on the growth and development of the learner and the peer educator. They increase the knowledge and academic independence of all students. The ultimate goal of the website is to empower students as they develop resiliency and successful habits in their fields of study and beyond.

ILQ: How has your family supported you in this project?

Get to know Doha-based student Priyanka Bansal and her free education website
Priyanka with her mother. (Image credit: Priyanka Bansal)

Priyanka: My family has been incredibly supportive when it comes to this project. They had been by my side when I had no tutors or students and still stand with me when I now have over 150 users on the website. They have provided me with ideas and encouraged the notion of me letting my imagination run wild. They have stood back and have let me run this platform the way I envision it and have supported me every step of the way.

ILQ: How’s the response from the students? What is your assessment of your project so far?

Get to know Doha-based student Priyanka Bansal and her free education website
Image credit: Priyanka Bansal

Priyanka: The students have been wonderful. All of them are thoughtful and wonderful individuals with a passion for learning. The zeal and enthusiasm keeps me going when times get tough. They learn to love learning, something that is very rare in students nowadays. They never give up. They are so curious and inquisitive about the world of science, math, language, and so many more, that it just warms my heart. They are bright young minds, and I am very thankful and grateful to have these particular individuals benefit from using this platform.

ILQ: What are the subjects being offered for free tutoring?

Priyanka: The website offers a variety of subjects. We offer Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, History, Science, Social Studies, Art, Economics, and Computer Science.

ILQ: Who can avail of the free tutorial? Is this open to students outside Qatar?

Get to know Doha-based student Priyanka Bansal and her free education website
Image credit: Priyanka Bansal

Priyanka: Yes absolutely. Anyone, from anywhere in the world can access our services, provided they have a network connection and a working electronic device.

To register as a student on the website:

  • Scroll to the end of the home page and click on 'Join now'.
  • Then click on ‘Register here’.
  • Fill in the details carefully as these details will be used to contact you later.

After that, you will receive login details in an email. Enter those details in the login form. And then you can request a course.

After you request a course, you will be assigned to a tutor. Then you and the tutor can communicate regarding the date and time of the session.

ILQ: Who can join as a tutor? What is the requirement?

Priyanka: This website has been designed to help students by their peers who are A graders (GPA 3.7 and above) in all subjects and are capable of assisting the students free of charge. Anyone who is under 20 and has a passion for learning and educating can be a tutor on my website.

ILQ: What is expected from the student tutors?

Get to know Doha-based student Priyanka Bansal and her free education website
Image credit: Shutterstock (for representation purpose only)

Priyanka: These tutors support the students in their free time as part of their community services to society. They are also expected to help the students completely free of charge, as part of their service to the community. This also helps the students grow into thoughtful and caring individuals who can be upstanding pillars of society.

The tutors are expected to be kind, caring, patient, and compassionate, with an ability to explain concepts in a fun, creative, and student-friendly way.

ILQ: What can the student tutors gain in return?

Priyanka: We would benefit tutors by strengthening their knowledge in subject comprehension, polishing their communication skills, helping them gain problem-solving skills, and improving their organizational skills.

The tutors blossom and bloom by being able to explain concepts that they, not too long ago, were once themselves in a place of understanding. They are able to share their ability to mentor, which builds their confidence and leadership skills. Through their support, students can start to build their confidence and apply what they’re learning outside of the lessons.

When they start to see this pay off in their exams, assignments, and general knowledge, it will give them a real sense of gratification and pride. It will improve their ability to adapt these skills to individual students and their needs. These skills are important for their own growth as a professional, whether they will be in the teaching field full-time or not.

They will also be required to remain highly knowledgeable in the area they are tutoring in. This means they will be continually adding to their knowledge base, which will keep them intellectually active.

ILQ: What message do you have for students in Qatar?

Priyanka: This website has been created for you. The main aim of this website is to help you excel in the subject you wish to learn. Let this website help you. Let it enhance your previously gained knowledge, and make you more capable and knowledgeable than you were before.

This platform will give you one-on-one attention, which can be crucial to your growth. It will help you improve academically and develop positive learning habits. It helps you get self-motivated for independent learning, away from the rules and regulations of formal schools and teachers. It enhances your self-esteem and creates a stress-free learning environment.

Connect with a team of young and talented students:

Cover image credit: Priyanka Bansal

Do you know of someone who’s got an exceptional talent or is making a difference in our community? Drop us a line in the comments below and you could see them highlighted in our next Qommunity Voices!