- CAFFE_Report_August_2014.pdfGrant for the development of Bangla language software to teach children and illiterate adults in Bangladesh using a phonics-based approach
- One-year grant of £7,000 in 2013
CAFFE runs a computer school in Dhaka, Bangladesh, for 200 students aged between 5 and 18 years, all from underprivileged homes. In addition to teaching computer skills CAFFE also runs a programme to provide basic literacy and numeracy education to children not currently enrolled in school.
While there are many good apps (ie computer applications) for teaching English and Numeracy, there are very few apps which can be used to teach Bangla. The BFSS grant is helping CAFFE to develop its own app for the purpose.
A recent World Bank report stated that around 75% children failed to reach the expected level of competency in Bangla by the end of primary school. Considering that 45% of these children then drop out of education there is a serious need to address this issue. CAFFE’s app “Esho Bangla Shikhi” (Let’s learn Bangla) is designed to allow children to learn about the sounds of letters and how these can be put together to build words. They can play freely with letter blocks, which can be snapped together to make words which will then be read back to them. The app is scheduled to be completed in August 2014 at which point tablets will be provided to local families so they can use the app.
The grant from BFSS has had the added benefit that the developers hired by CAFFE have also been teaching the older students to code their own android apps. This is something these young people would never have had the opportunity to learn otherwise.