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“JAAGO Foundation Brings UNESCO Prize to Bangladesh”

JAAGO Foundation received “The 2016 UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize” in recognition of its’ “Online School” project for innovative use of information and communications technology (ICT) in the field of Education.

The theme for this year’s Prize recognized the urgent need to respond to major obstacles that lie in the path of the most vulnerable populations with regard to equitable and inclusive access to quality education and lifelong learning.

JAAGO Foundation had been reaching underprivileged children in rural areas of Bangladesh through its’ Online School program that provides learners with high-quality courses through interactive video-conferencing. Instruction, covering English, Bengali, and mathematics, as well as natural and social sciences, is delivered by highly trained teachers based in the capital. With 1,061 annual beneficiaries, JAAGO Foundation aims to help bridge the educational quality gap between urban and rural students in Bangladesh.

The determination to spread quality education to the most remote areas got a new dimension when JAAGO Foundation inaugurated its’ online school.

Online School” started in 2011 in Gazipur as a pilot project with 80 students. Soon the idea of online schooling and synchronous learning through internet proved to be a leap towards an educational revolution especially in context of Bangladesh, as our country has not experienced this schooling method before. Currently, JAAGO Fundation is operating 10 online schools in Gazipur, Rajshahi, Gaibandha, Madaripur, Bandarban, Lakshmipur, Dinajpur, Rangpur, Hobiganj, and Teknaf.

The idea of online schooling has been designed to bridge the quality gap in education by connecting skilled teachers and resources with disadvantaged students living in remote areas through video conferencing technology.

On behalf of JAAGO Foundation, we would like to thank all our supporters, well-wishers and partners for believing in us. The Online School is a project operated by JAAGO Foundation in association with Grameenphone Limited and Agni Systems Limited.

The prize recognizing two outstanding projects that make innovative use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in education for the benefit of disadvantaged groups was awarded to the Online School Project and for Harnessing the Power of ICTs in Higher Education, run by the German NGO Kiron that serves displaced persons.

Both prizewinners were awarded by the UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and the Minister of Education of the Kingdom of Bahrain at a special ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris today. They both also received a diploma and USD 25,000.

This “Online School” project set a good example of how to harness the full potential of ICT in education worldwide, bypassing constraints, across countries, continents and cultures, in line with the Education 2030 Agenda: strengthening access, equity, inclusion, quality and learning outcomes in education.

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