In 2013 BFSS gave a grant of £7,000 to Computers are Free for Everyone (CAFFE) as matched funding for the development of Bangla language software to teach children and illiterate young adults in Bangladesh using a phonics-based approach. This was the first time that BFSS had funded the development of an android app.
CAFFE runs a computer school in Dhaka, Bangladesh, for 200 students aged between 5 and 18 years, all from underprivileged homes. It also runs a programme to provide basic literacy and numeracy education to children not currently enrolled in school.
As CAFFE’s report shows, the app – “Esho Bangla Shikhi” (Let’s learn Bangla) – will be completed shortly and tablets will be placed in homes located in slum areas and training given to parents so that children can use the educational app at home. BFSS is very pleased that, as an added benefit, 15 CAFFE students have received programming lessons from the developers. As part of the grant agreement, CAFFE will carry out assessments of the impact of the app on literacy levels of users.