Low-cost Educational Aid (Audio visual device) for classroom in off-grid areas of Bangladesh

This is a challenge of 21st century to provide education service in rural Bangladesh. Although the government has taken initiative to set up multimedia classrooms in every school, there are still 9300 schools all over the country lacking power facilities. Moreover, there is no constant supply of power in the remote areas. Besides, the equipment used to set up multimedia classrooms in the non-electricity areas is very expensive. The Eco Electronics and Engineering company invented a device for audio visual classification called ‘Low Price and Power-saving audio visual device for Classroom’ through the A2i Program Service Innovation Fund. The initiative is currently in Thanchi of Bandarban, Itna in Kishoreganj, Batiaghata of Khulna and Tetulia Pilot of Panchagarh. Gradually it is possible to spread across the country.

Because of taking this initiative remote water bodies area like dhanneshor high school area students are able to use this audio visual device for classroom. Dhanneshor high school’s students now easily can understand very difficult topic by using this device for classroom. They are participating immensely in class work now- a- days.

Chadni Tripura, a 13-year old primary school student in Thanchi, Bandarban district, had to travel for several hours every day to reach her school from home but she has to study in the dark. The school, like the entire community is devoid of electricity and therefore beyond the reach of conventional multimedia classroom facilities. Tripura being their native language, it is difficult for her to read and write in Bangla and English. Many of her friends have dropped out of school because they are not finding any interest in studying. With the objective of making relevant global and local teaching and learning content available to the teachers and students all across Bangladesh, the government has already established multimedia classroom setup in more than 23,500 primary and secondary schools. But the challenge remains when expanding this solution into areas with frequent load shedding and/or areas off grid electricity like Thanchi. The conventional alternate power solutions are not enough strong to power up conventional multimedia electronic items (like computer, projector). Eco Electronic and Engineering Ltd., a private tech-based start-up, understood the latent demand for a low-cost technology that could address all these challenges and be suitable to the local context and environment. Thus, they came up with a high-tech solar-powered audio visual unit consisting of a single board computer (capable of storing any type of digital content) and a high-resolution monitor (allowing teachers to project any content to a class of around 50 pupils. Students can enjoy classes better and have an in-depth learning experience. Most importantly, all students can get access to the same quality of education. Because the device is small, any school can easily increase the number of audio visually active classrooms. Any training provider, including teacher training, can run continuous training using this device. Now classrooms are just not only for the students of urban area or area where electricity is available but also for remote area where electricity didn’t reach yet. Students of those areas are now preparing them for the 21st century challenges so that they can serve the country with their skills.