“I feel fine when I do my Math Class through computer using multimedia CD. We learn most of the lessons with appropriate pictures, animations and stories, which make lessons easy and understandable. I really enjoy my classroom.”-said Hazera Khatun, Roll no-28, Class six, of Uddipan Badar-Shamsu Biddya Niketon.
Uddipan Badar-Shamsu Biddya Niketon is established in 2002 at Boitpur village of Bagerhat district. The school is run by Shamsuddin Nahar Trust (SNT), a non-profit organization of Bagerhat, committed to change the livelihood of the poor people. Along with other students the school is trying to reach the marginalized, disadvantaged and poor students of the community into mainstream education. This junior secondary school is now providing e-Education to the learners through computer wheel.
Dipankar Pal, Headmaster of the school said, “We have already tagged e-Education in class six and seven of our school. So, Students are getting scope of learning English, Science and Math through multimedia CD. It’s very interesting, and the learners are enjoying their lessons. Even, weaker students are also doing better.”
Uddipan Badar-Shamsu Biddya Niketon ticketed Computer Literacy Programme (CLP) with the school in 2004. New Jersey Chapter of Volunteers Association for Bangladesh, VAB-NJ (www.vabonline.org/vabnj) initiated a project “Empowering Underprivileged Youths in Bangladesh through Computer Literacy” in 2004 under the banner of ‘Computer Literacy Programme’ (CLP). This project is implemented by D.Net in Bangladesh. The vision of this programme is to reduce the digital gap and ensure a knowledge based society in Bangladesh. The specific goals of this initiative that have been determined are: developing facilities in rural areas for educating and training underprivileged youths on ICTs, integrating local people into the programme through partnership, and developing and designing education/ training curriculum and training kits in line with the ICT policies of Bangladesh and tailored to the specific needs of the rural livelihoods.
Ajoy K. Bose, Coordinator of Computer Literacy Programme (CLP), D.Net (Development Research Network) told, “CLP is a complete and coordinated programme which is run through a three-way partnership between VAB-NJ, D.Net and local School Management. The primary objective of CLP is to alleviate Digital Divide through access to computers and other resources of information technology. Another objective is to leverage these resources to modernize the instruction and learning of some core subjects, particularly in Science, Geography, Mathematics and English.”
The education sector of Bangladesh has been suffering from many deficiencies including quality teachers, quality content and quality environment. This condition is very worse in rural areas due to skilled teachers, proper teaching-learning materials and so on. At present great challenge faced by Bangladesh is to create a ‘Knowledge based Society’. To build a knowledge based society, as announced in the national ICT policy of Bangladesh, and reap the benefits of a new economy, Bangladesh needs its young generation to be educated and acquainted with the state-of-the-art knowledge of ICT. Government of Bangladesh declared a vision to build ‘Digital Bangladesh’ by 2021. But it’s very true that the Dream of Digital Bangladesh will not come into light, if the integrating of ICT into Education is not possible.
In 2008 CTEE (Computer Teaches Everyday English) project was piloted at Uddipan Badar-Shamsu Biddya Niketon. This project was initiated by D.Net with the financial support of VAB-NJ. CTEE is developed based on the NCTB (National Curriculum and Textbook Board) Book for class six, seven and eight; and aims at helping students learn aspects of English language, such as, proper English pronunciation, comprehension of spoken English, carrying out a conversation in English that are not commonly emphasized in their regular classes. CTEE is an English teaching CD-ROM that draws from the daily experiences of students in Bangladesh, and is being used as a pilot program in five schools with CLCs. These schools are Uddipan Badar-Shamsu Biddya Niketon, Bagerhat; Mukul Niketon School, Mymensingh; Mamun Smrity Public School, Jamalpur; B.Baria High School, B.Baria; Gorpara High School, Manikgonj. The name of this initiative was ‘Computer on the Wheel’, where there is a computer on a wheel and CTEE Multimedia CD is used in that computer to attract the whole class. The CD will help students to learn English and develop communication skills. Now the name has been changed and it has been replaced by ‘e-Education Wheel’. Uddipan Badar-Shamsu Biddya Niketon is also pioneer in this new journey of e-Education Wheel.
Last 15th April, 2010 I paid a visit to Uddipan Badar-Shamsu Biddya Niketon, Bagerhat in order to monitor the e-Education Wheel. I’m really very happy to see the application of educational content in the classroom. They are using English, Science and Math CD in the classroom of six and seven; and students are enjoying this new teaching-learning method. This method is transforming teaching and learning processes from being highly teacher-dominated to student-centered. This transformation will result in increased learning gains for students, creating and allowing for opportunities for learners to develop their creativity, problem-solving abilities, informational reasoning skills, communication skills, and other higher-order thinking skills. Teachers are also getting interest through this teaching-learning method.
Kishor Kumar Mondol, Math Teacher of Uddipan Badar-Shamsu Biddya Niketon said, “It’s true that we have not enough educational content on Math. It would be very better if we could arrange all the primary and secondary Math Classes through multimedia CD.”
Md. Sohel Rana of Class six (Roll no-5) said that, “When I learn any lesson of my English Book through Computer, I don’t forget it. Because this learning is joyful; and I can remember the story, picture and text as well.”
It’s a matter of pleasure that gradually CLP is turning into e-Education. e-Education is the appropriate application of tools and technologies for equitable access to quality education content for learners, teachers and educational policy makers. CLP received Manthan South Asia Award 2009 under e-Education category. That is a great achievement and also a success point for CLP. This is actually an award for the programme which is empowering students and teachers in Bangladesh through Computer Learning as well as Computer aided Learning. ICTs are used to ensure improvement of governance in education from bottom to the top. ICTs can play a crucial role in supporting teachers with appropriate skills development. Computer Literacy and the availability and use of computers and ICTs are integral to the Digital Education (e-Education) component of the Digital Bangladesh, which requires restructuring the education system to ensure equity in terms of access to quality education. The quality education can be ensured through regeneration of dignity of teaching profession with appropriate skills development, where ICTs play a vital role. The education system produces quality human resources for meeting the demand of domestic knowledge based economy and also global demand for quality human resources.
Writer: Assistant Director, D.Net (Development Research Network), Dhaka; M.Phil Researcher, e-Learning, University of Dhaka.