Minhaaj ur Rehman
My User Page[Minhaaj ur Rehman]
I would like to welcome you to my campaign page on WikiEducator, a project that is changing lives of people for good. As you have probably read my user page, i am a teacher and devout educational consultant from Pakistan. I have been using internet since 15 when nobody could afford a computer and people had to go to internet cafes. I am giving a little background of educational and communication technology because i think in order to choose the right person for your vote, you need to know about the sacrifices and passions that have shaped my ideologies and beliefs about educational philosophies that i support. I remember the days when i used to travel 2 kms one-way on my bicycle to go to internet cafe in my city. Like most of the people we could not afford a computer. My first interactions with computer had opened up a new world for me. In no time, i made new friends all over the world. Educational resources, cultural experiences, and technological skills had revolutionized me as a person. Now, i want to share these experiences and knowledge with people from all around the world and learn from them, and nothing on earth can convince me otherwise.
Later on i started editing wikipedia. I edited it for a long time, before it published pictures of Prophet Muhammad PBUH. I was taken aback at this disrespect and offense. I applied for the wikimania 2008 event and according to the criteria i was eligible for the scholarship. Per capita income of my country is less than what was the threshold limit of wikipedia. I applied on the last day well in time, but i was rejected because i supposedly didn't apply in time. The just and fair approach would have been to close acceptance of applications instead of telling people that they submitted the application late. I contacted the committee and i was astonished to hear that they simply didn't care. After continuous emails i got a reply that i simply didn't qualify. It didn't end here. Guess who won the awards ? Three people from Turkey, Armenia and Iran. That was asinine since all these countries have more per capita income than Pakistan.
I contacted Jimmy Wales about this bias against third world and he asked me to send him emails. I sent him the archive of conversations and he never replied. This was the last day i edited wikipedia. Being an honest and life long supporter of free education and indiscriminate help for everyone, this was as shocking as an earthquake. I would not like to work in an organization where people were strategically oppressed and discriminated against because of religions and geographies.
Nellie Muller Deutsch, is one of my best friends in my quest of promoting free education. She introduced me to WikiEducator. I started contributing and i was overwhelmed by the support and love of this community for each other. I participated in forums, policy formation processes, moderation of Google group and creation of content and i am surprised by the community collaboration.
My goals in WE comprise of a set of policy formations that would ensure following:
- Indiscriminate opportunities of participation for everyone without gender,race, religion, color, and linguistic differences.
- Promotion of free contents and aggregation and utilization of all free resources that can be used for educational purposes and are in line with WikiEducator's OER philosophy.
- Promoting accountability and fairness in processes and democratization of decision making.
- Making sure everyone has a say in all affairs and processes are fair, equitable and serves collective interests over personal interests.
- A rigorous debate on incorporating technologies like slideshare, blip.tv and youtube videos in WE, as it has been a hot topic in forums. I would love to see a well documented proposal and i volunteer to create a presentation of proposal that can be sent to corporate entities to grant WE exclusive permission to use their content for educational content.
- Syncrhonous communication between wikieducators through a skype/IRC network to pull community together through a real-time medium of conversation. I would also suggest a weekly town-hall meeting to reflect on latest developments and socialization.
Somethings I won't Allow
I believe that in campaigning it is an honorable and right thing to tell people about things that you will not allow if you are chosen for the position you are contesting for. It's nice to say things that people want to hear, but its upright to say things that you believe to be right and people don't want to listen to them. Here is a list of things that i will not allow or vote for in implicit or explicit form. Any derivatives, implications, workarounds and sugar coating of the following is intolerable:
- Racial Discrimination
- Inequality and procedural discouragement on the basis of geography/color/race and intellectual level.
- Disrespect for religions, cultures and values of any region even if the views collide. Ignoring and respect is the solution.
My work on WE includes a User Page Expo project started with Steve Foerster, a wonderful soul and upright academic. This project is built around the need that we need to recognize extra ordinary talent and innovative members who are making WE what it is today now. I believe every edit, every word, every thought and every idea is WE's asset. Our human capital is our treasure. If i were to say a world to honor this community, i would say nothing and offer a standing ovation for everyone who has made WE a project that would never die at least in our hearts. From Africa to North America and Asia, WE is changing lives of people. A diverse range of academia is part of this noble cause. You can see the video on Sanjay Mishra's page, the WE promotional video, Pictures and reports of f2f L4C workshops on L4C page, and Leigh Black's fabulous work on his user page.
I have created a project about open source content management system, Joomla. Tutorial covers all the basics from installing to using. Features are explained in the best possible way that i could express them. I have been contributing to almost all other projects as per needs and my capacity. Recently i have joined Randy Fisher's Community Node on google groups. I am fascinated by discussions on use of radio broadcasting for educational purposes.
I have recently given a talk on how to use SecondLife as a medium for education in interactive ways and creating open educational resources on it. I am also in the process of creating a SL presence of WE. I am contacting with developers to rent/buy land for WE and create a 3D environment where we could place introductory literature through note cards and podcasts/screencasts/tutorials. I promoted WE through my lecture and invited academics to WE to have first hand experience of this community.
I am done planning a face to face L4C workshop in Pakistan and by the time you would read this page, i hope with cooperation of Wayne and COL i would have arranged the dates.
Why Me? Ask Me
They say if you want justice, equality and peace, stand in the dock first. I have appeared as a candidate for advisory board of WE and i realize that this is a huge responsibility to be the part of the management of this splendid project. Rights come after duties and having power also places responsiblity and accountability. Why am i good for wikieducator, what changes i will make, what is my educational philosophy and contributions? I have tried to answer these questions, succinctly above.
To my knowledge, i have placed the facts for the community, but i would still encourage you to be upright and honest voters by asking questions and enquiring my plans and steps for promotion and development of WE. Feel free to contact me by placing questions in next section. You can also email me at Minhaaj
Add your Questions Here!