Free maths coaching

Khan Academy maths has arrived in France with the launch this month of the free online video-based teaching system that has proved hugely successful in America where it is used both at home and in schools.

The French version, released in partnership with the Bibliothèque sans Frontiers open library and funded by Foundation Orange, offers 10-minute maths lessons whereby children can revise what they have learned in class.

This is great news in a country where parents spend over €2 billion a year on after school tutoring, more than most other European countries.

The system was invented by former hedge fund analyst Salman Khan in 2004 so he could tutor his niece. He lived in Boston and she was in New Orleans so he created YouTube videos for her to use.

She said she preferred the videos to live lessons because she could pause and rewind the video on sections that were difficult and the online tutorials were a big hit with fans including Bill Gates which lead to Khan getting the funding to put an entire curriculum of subjects online including physics, biology and history.

The academy, which today has 4,500 free videos, now has over 6 million regular users and Khan, who is personally overseeing the French project, dreams of creating a "world classroom"  where "a child in Calcutta can give support to a child in Paris".

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