inafu6212-001-2012-3



An interview with Dilruba Choudhury, Project Director Aagami foundation:
An expatriate Bangladeshi group based in USA started this foundation with an aim to create quality educational opportunities for under-privileged children in Bangladesh. With some fund from Khan Academy, they translated more than 1,000 Khan Videos in Bangla. In early 2012 they started a pilot project in four schools (three schools funded by Agami for under-privileged children and another school with similar profile) to test the effectiveness of these videos among students in 5th and 7th grade. They selected 50 math videos in commensurate with the curricula, developed some relevant exercise materials and distributed some PDAs (Personal Digital Assistance) loaded with those videos. Within one year, they started to see some positive outcomes, according to Dilruba Chowdhury, Project Director in Agami. They are in the process of formal documentation. But they need to wait until the end of academic year, which is December, to get some concrete result. Ms. Chowdhury recently visited the schools and talked with the children and teachers.

Some of the positive findings, according to her:
1. All the 5th grade children expressed their confidence and said that they are going to get 100 out of 100 in the forthcoming national examination.
2. The teachers are also confident that the students will do very good, at least comparable to the results of mainstream schools.
3. Teachers also mentioned that now they feel comfortable to assign homework to the children.

Some of the objections:
1. The Bengali used in the videos is too formal.
2. The videos do not have full coverage of the curricula.

Comment: It is too early to comment about the effectiveness of these online materials in increasing quality education. Next year, Agami is planning to roll out the pilot project to four more classes. It is notable here that these videos are used as a complementary study materials, not supplementing the teachers, class attendance and other traditional study methods.