ISLAMABAD: Pakistani cricket captain Babar Azam said on Friday that he had joined forces with the Saudi social learning platform Noon Academy as a brand ambassador and investor to help promote the company’s mission of providing free education to young students in the country.
Noon Academy is one of the largest education technology (edtech) firms in the Middle East and North Africa, serving more than 9 million students in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan, India and Iraq.
Launched in Pakistan in September 2020, the organization has registered more than 1.5 million local students in less than a year.
“I will try to leverage my stature and spread Noon’s message to the masses,” Azam said in a written response to questions by Arab News sent to the academy.
He added that his decision would not only help the Saudi firm but also provide students across Pakistan with an opportunity to avail themselves of a quality education for free.
“In this union, we aim to develop a deeper content-led partnership, the contours of which will be revealed in the coming months,” he said.
The Pakistani skipper said that his country had one of the highest out-of-school rates for children after Nigeria.
Access to education is a major problem in Pakistan — 22.8 million of the country’s more than 70 million children are not in school, according to UNICEF. Experts also lament the quality of teaching at Pakistani schools.
“In the midst of these regrettable circumstances, Noon’s focus on providing free quality education by creating holistic learning solutions that go beyond traditional forms of education has positively impacted the lives of many students in a very short span of time, demonstrating student trust and further strengthening my resolve in the company’s vision and mission,” Azam said.
“As a learning platform, Noon Academy aims to bridge geographical boundaries by making learning accessible from any part of Pakistan,” he said. “Their resolve matches with my personal vision to work for the betterment of the future generations.”
Umair Babar Chishti, general manager of Noon Pakistan, said that Azam’s collaboration would help to boost the company’s aim to radically change the way people learn.
The Pakistani skipper’s life exemplified the values of resilience and determination in the face of difficult odds, he said. “Having Babar Azam as Noon’s brand ambassador and now an investor bolsters our confidence and provides impetus to the work we are doing.”