Digital Lab Access in Bangladesh (D-LAB)

  • Singapore Management University
  • Dr. Christine Ho, Associate Professor, Singapore Management University
  • Dr. Abu Shonchoy, Associate Professor, Florida International University
  • Dr. Tomoki Fuji, Associate Professor, Singapore Management University
  • Dr. Rohan Ray, Research Fellow, National University of Singapore
  • Faiaz Ahmed

The baseline data collection for the Digital Lab Access in Bangladesh (D-LAB) was done in 2023. Now, in this project, MOMODA Foundation will collect various types of data, install monitoring software for each computer and upload educational video materials in 466 schools across 32 upazilas.

Along with this, it will also train the Headmasters, and Computer Lab Teachers for a successful intervention along with coordination with the Upazila Secondary Education Officer.

D-LAB research team propose to evaluate the impact of leveraging the existing ICT infrastructure in schools – Sheikh Russel Digital Lab (SRDL) and ICT Learning Centres (ILCs)– as the most practical, equitable, and cost-effective way to substantially and sustainably increase school-centric EdTech outreach to all, particularly in reducing the current COVID-19 led learning crisis.

The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly delayed the progress of education in Bangladesh in recent decades. With schools closed for nearly a year and a half due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the crisis of education has been exacerbated, especially for poor students. Schools are currently open in Bangladesh, but students are automatically promoted to higher (next) grades without acquiring adequate learning skills. Therefore, it is very important to ensure that students understand the lessons of the class by studying themselves or by participating in remedial lessons.

A promising solution to this problem is to harness the recent advances in EdTech (Digital Technology in Education). However, authorities believe that EdTech (such as the use of computer lab classes) is not being fully used. The reasons for not being fully utilized are the lack of proper maintenance of existing digital facilities such as Sheikh Russel Digital Lab (SRDL) and ICT Learning Center (ILC), adequate training for teachers and lack of mandatory lab use rules.

Currently, there is a need for a study on the effectiveness of digital labs and how students are experiencing the benefits of self-learning using digital labs. Moreover, due to COVID-19, educational institutions were closed in Bangladesh for a long time like the rest of the world. As a result, students have faced learning deficits in various subjects.

The D-LAB project is focused on whether these labs can be used effectively to overcome this learning gap. Based on the results obtained from this project, it is possible to ensure the self-learning of the students, including overcoming the learning deficit of the students during corona, if the initiative is taken to make the digital labs effective. As part of this project, this orientation program has been organized for the headmaster and one computer lab teacher of the participating schools.

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