Our current education system in Bangladesh is fraught with challenges. We’ve all been through this. Rather painfully, we might add. A teacher stands in front of a sleepy class. Imparts his knowledge on a blackboard. Maybe we should call it a black “bored”. The students mindlessly copy whatever it is on the blackboard. To be sure, some students do understand the lessons. But many have questions. Others see big gaps in what the teacher teaches and what’s in the textbook. Overall, too many students are left confused. Many students go home with more questions than answers. They spend countless hours at home trying to make sense of it all in some way. With very little luck really, leaving many students utterly frustrated. A fundamental shift, a “reboot”, is needed.
Reboot is founded on the Flipped Classroom model, where an educator (or content creator) would develop interactive content and shares this through some form of clouds in advance with his class. The students access the lessons using their preferred device (a computer, a tablet, or a smart phone) before the class. They study the topics in advance, learn from a plethora of other internal or external sources online, interact with other students online to discuss the lessons, document questions they may have, and arrive at the school much better prepared. The class time is then used to build on an enhanced level of understanding about the topic to further solidify the learning supplemented through simulations, modeling and focused interactive discussions in small groups.
Reboot is made possible through a well-orchestrated series of activities in the background by a number of different actors within a well-defined ecosystem. Content developers leverage existing sources of knowledge on a topic to create a set of interactive lessons. The new lessons are put back into the content repository. Teachers and students access the lessons as and when needed. Teachers keep parents abreast of their children’s progress in school. New content may be generated by teachers, and even students and parents, and once again shared through the content repository. A department of the government can monitor and ensure that the lessons are well aligned with national curricula. And an independent multi-stakeholder body can oversee a content filtering and vetting process to make sure that the content being added to the repository is kosher.
Reboot incorporates parents’ involvement in a significant way. From receiving real time updates on their children’s progress, to contributing to content creation (when qualified), to closely collaborating with the educators, the parents are deeply engaged in this model.
Reboot is designed from the get-go with the recognition that while there is certainly an individual element to learning, it is more enjoyable when a peer group is involved. Most of the learning modules also incorporate a firsthand-experience dimension in Reboot – from science experiments to history simulations. For example, for a chemistry lesson to see if temperature affects the rate of a chemical reaction, a digital simulation that students can try out will make the learning more engrained, regardless of the fact whether a particular school has a well-equipped science lab or not.
Bangladesh is on a path towards graduating to a middle income country within the next few years. To succeed at this new level, we need human resources that can propel our journey forward. Unfortunately, our current antiquated education system is not well equipped to make significant contributions in that journey. We need new ways of training our young today so that they can catalyze our growth tomorrow.
Through Reboot, teachers will teach more effectively, students will learn faster, parents will be more engaged, and significant cost-savings will be achieved at the systemic level in the long run. A high level estimate shows that successful implementation of Reboot can save the country up to $10 billion in the long term.
In partnership with its sister organization, CSI, pi STRATEGY had developed a short 3-minute video to visually articulate the value proposition and concept. You can review this video here.