By Omiya Hassan, Saima Tazreen, Md. Redwanul Islam.
Problems of education system in Bangladesh:
Education level in rural areas is one of the fields lacking progress in Bangladesh. The problem of planning rural education and training faces formidable obstacles due to some important factors. The major obstacle in rural areas is the cost of education. The earnings of poverty stricken families are not sufficient to cover the cost of their children’s education. Most of the families encourage their children to go to work at a young age and contribute to the family earning rather than go to school. They believe that completing primary or secondary level education is ample requirement for their offspring. From different researches we find that from class VI to X almost 60-70% students tend to drop out of school. Another major problem of rural areas is a lack of educational institutes. The students in remote villages have to walk miles to reach school. In most cases, there are two primary schools, one high school and one college for almost ten villages, which is far from adequate. The quality of education in all primary, secondary and post-secondary levels faces number of problems; such as class size, insufficient resources, lack of expert teachers, gender and economic disparity etc. For these reasons, students lack understanding, communication and problem solving skills. We aspire to have a nation where, irrespective of remoteness of village or limitation of seats, every child gets a fair share at educating himself. Sounds like a lot to ask for at this stage; but it’s never too late to start trying.
E-school: Inspiring Education in Rural Areas through ICT:
E-school is a web portal where video lectures and notes by some of the most reputed teachers in the country will be stored. This website will be provided to teachers in the rural area for self-grooming and having sufficient amount of lectures and syllabus content to teach to the students. At first, a team of dedicated individuals/NGOs will go to a number of schools to teach the teachers how to use the website as well as set up necessary infrastructure to access the website, such as computers and internet connection. Most of the rural people are not educated because they cannot bear their tuition fees. This database will provide video lectures covering the entire syllabus so teachers from urban area don’t have to come every month for grooming them up. Moreover, the teachers in rural areas are getting to view lectures of top teachers in the cities and can share them with the students. A van with a specialized set of personnel and equipment will go to the districts and conduct a 1 month workshop. It will be designed in a format that the rural people will be educated or inspired in such a way that the knowledge they’ll gain will be useful for them, besides knowing how to use the web portal. For example advanced agriculture, marketing and technological courses will be taught alongside by the experts in those respected fields. Our main focus is inspiring the rural people and giving a taste of what advance education system is like so that they would want to learn more.
Impact on Rural Education System with the Application of ICT:
The major problems of the rural education system and their solutions have been discussed. But what is the anticipated impact of those solutions? Over a period of few years, various NGOs of Bangladesh like JAAGO, 1 Degree Initiative etc have been trying to reach out to the people of rural Bangladesh. Our vision is that the application of E-School will be a more cost effective version of what they have been trying to achieve. For example, if any renowned speaker wishes to share his profound knowledge of a field, he can easily communicate with an audience through skype conversation. The impact of this will be that most of the young generation, previously deprived of such knowledge and curious about the technical applications, will be interested to attend and learn about his/her field of work. Within a few years, we aspire to increase the rural literacy rate to at least 50% of what it is today by the use of this simple, but effective system