As the world reels due to the impact of Covid-19 and most people are forced to put their work, business, mobility and education on hold, UMRAN, a pioneering initiative, provides a new ray of hope to people and especially to language enthusiasts. The new platform brings together the global polyglot community as they engage in language teaching and learning along with INTERCULTURAL collaboration. Engaging participants from India, Turkey, Mexico, Albania, the US, Spain, El Salvador, Brazil, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Germany, Gambia, Sri Lanka, Argentina and Iran, so far, the programme has garnered interest from 150 students across the world as they came together on one platform where they can not only learn languages but also foster mutual understanding through direct interactions leading to strong empathetic and amicable bonds with each other resulting in a global family. Click here to read more.
UMRAN kickstarted its language-learning programme on 13th of June, 2020 with a hope to promote INTERCULTURAL cooperation and prosperity across the globe by offering free online language classes.
With a view that education should be easily accessible to all regardless of their economic or social condition, UMRAN aims to be a platform that can combat the gap between all sections of society by bringing them together on one platform. The Language Project is one of the several dynamic projects of UMRAN which offers linguistic skills to people seeking to enhance their knowledge for their social, educational and professional careers.
UMRAN kickstarted its language-learning programme on 13th of June, 2020 with a hope to promote INTERCULTURAL cooperation and prosperity across the globe by offering free online language classes. Umran is also holding special weekly cultural events. Since online language learning and exchange is not the sole focus of UMRAN, these weekly cultural webinars are organized for participants to share poetry, songs, thoughts and ideas. The first online cultural webinar kickstarted on the 16th of June as M. Rafey from India shared powerful poetry by Tagore that looks to the future followed by Meraj Alam’s recitation of the Spanish poem Los Nadies (The Nobodies) by Eduardo Galeano exploring the collective ethos of shared human struggles and hope. Bringing the evening to a perfect close was Rohouallah Vakilzadeh’s lilting music from his hometown in Iran.
At the outset, Umran is offering six languages at A1 level: Turkish, German, Arabic, English, Persian and Urdu. However, it will soon enlarge its scope to include more languages like Portuguse, Spanish, Sanskrit, Chinese, Japanese, French and Hindi. Thus, Umran shall soon offer a total of thirteen languages. With six hours a week of intensive teaching by native language-speakers, UMRAN is also offering free language ebooks and learning resources to its registered students.
Umran aims to connect people from all sections of the society, be they marginalized or privileged, covering those in both rural and urban areas creating a virtual space for mutual understanding. UMRAN is also endeavouring to bring artisans, farmers and people from other neglected sections of the society in contact with academia and researchers so they can benefit from advancements in their respective fields. Our attempt shall be to create an environment where everyone can get together and communicate in simple language without any arcana so that each section of society can understand each other.
The overarching purpose of UMRAN is to create a global community and foster hope, learning and openness to new cultures in these uncertain times when travelling and exorbitant spending on language education seem improbable if not impossible. With a view that access to education should be easily accessible to all regardless of their economic or social condition, UMRAN aims to be a platform that can also offer linguistic skills to adults seeking to continue their education. With its dedicated team of expanding volunteers who speak a variety of languages, UMRAN Green School also aims to empower communities in less developed areas. It hopes to expand its reach to women who have had to forgo education due to personal or familial obligations. A little bit goes a long way in empowering communities through individuals, believes the founder of UMRAN Foundation, Rajeev Kumar, based out of Istanbul.
-Ishitaa Saxena, PhD, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi