ZNotes founder Zubair Junjunia keen on spreading education

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Saudi Gazette report

JEDDAH —
Zubair Junjunia is the founder of ZNotes and in his Master's year studying mathematics at University College London (UCL). He is on a mission of making it possible for anyone, anywhere to make his life better through access to education and is hugely passionate about UN SDG-4.

He was recently in Jeddah to be with his family during his vacation.

Zubair also holds ambassadorial roles for the One Young World and IMPACTR, working toward sustainability and the future of education. Alongside this, he is a STEM ambassador for the Mayor's London Scientist program, helping inspire more young Londoners, especially in low-income schools, to consider careers in STEM. He is a super outdoors person, a streak and marathon runner, inline and figure skater and enjoys swimming in everything other than swimming pools.

ZNotes is the ultimate revision platform for students to revise for their high-school exams. Built on the principle of ‘for students, by students’, it harnesses student power to provide high-quality and concise revision notes on individual subjects for the International GCSEs and A-Level exams, branching out to SATs and IB too. The ideology behind this is that quality resources should be available easily and free of cost, to students all over the world.

Questioned as to what prompted him to come up with the idea for ZNotes, the founder said: “Picture this: a 16-year-old Zubair, studying at a British international exam, and heading into first proper exams — the iGCSEs. And yet, he couldn’t find a single resource online which consolidated the syllabus and kept it concise for his final revision.”

To solve this, he scoured the internet, used all his notes from class and even went through past papers to come up with the ultimate set of notes: covering every syllabus point and packaged together into a sleek-looking document. “Having done all this, I just couldn’t let these resources hideaway in a folder. And having personally faced this difficulty of finding good-quality resources, I realized an even deeper problem; that hundreds of thousand students all over the world will be taking the same exams as me but face disparities in their grades due to an uneven distribution of academic resources. So I set up a simple blog to share the documents and told a few friends. Today, with just the word of mouth and many website versions later, we boast of more than a 100 sets of notes contributed by students from across the globe and have reached almost 3 million students, teachers and educators!”

On the future of education around the world, Zubair said it has more or less been personalized. “For too long the education system has been developed as a factory system where maximizing efficiency rather than boosting creativity and expanding horizons has been its driving force. But now with technology advancing in leaps and bounds and amazing solutions being developed and implemented by educational technology companies, the educational revolution is imminent! Harnessing technologies like AI, AR/VR and even just your personal device, it is now possible to deliver personalized learning experiences at fractions of costs. And with the job sector changing so rapidly, a radical change in the way we learn is necessary,” he said.

Asked for an advice to young aspiring entrepreneurs, Zubair said he never set out to turn ZNotes into a startup and didn’t even think of himself as an entrepreneur until he was suddenly called one. “But this in itself highlights an important point: entrepreneurship is more than just coming up with an idea and starting a business. Too many times have we witnessed pitches that are impossible to implement and we are falling into the trap of thinking there is a straightforward method to becoming the next Uber. Build relationships, be consistent in your efforts and always be hungry to learn. You might not end up with a unicorn but you’ll be one heck of a human.”

To learn more about ZNotes, check out https://znotes.org. Zubair can also be found on social media platforms as @zjunjunia or check out his blog at https://zubairjunjunia.com.


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