AGNEE (Adolescent Girls Non-Formal Education in Emergency)
Igniting the flame for Rohingya adolescent girls in Bangladesh through digital learning on Moodle.
Rohingya adolescent girls testimonials, future dreams and AGNEE
What problem does your innovation solve?
The highest proportion of Rohingya refugee children not in school are adolescent girls. This derives from social and religious barriers that restrict mobility in public. There is no education program specifically targeting Rohingya adolescent girls. In refugee camp settings, 85% of the girls who attended Grade 6 class have dropped out by Grade 8. The limited provision leads to low levels of foundational literacy, social isolation, exclusion, psychological distress, exploitation and abuse.
Explain your innovation.
Rohingya girls will access digital national curriculum via the Moodle learning platform through their 3G internet connected tablet/smart phone in their home. This system is designed to provide educators and learners with a single robust, secure and integrated system to create personalised learning environments. Students will create a student profile, complete learning and assessment tasks and interact with other students on the discussion board available on Moodle. Moodle is trusted by institutions such as Microsoft and Open University and has an interactive simple interface and Multilanguage capability. It is free to use, easy to adapt, extend and modify. Digital content, aligned to the Bangladesh Grade 6 - 10 curriculum is already available from a previous collaboration with BRAC and Save the Children to support the government's education reform agenda. The student learning gains from the Bangla and English digital content has been assessed and shown to be significant for Bangladesh students involved in the program. Adolescent girls will have the option to learn Bangla, English, basic Burmese, Social Science and Maths. Girls will study at home and 1-3 times per week, they will meet with their teacher to engage in peer learning and plan independent learning tasks. The teacher will track progress via the Moodle assessment repository and be able to interact using chat functions online. If successful, it can be expanded to all adolescent Rohingya girls in Bangladesh.
Shafikya's journey using AGNEE and the transformation it makes to her life
AGNEE will reach 360 Rohingya girls and 15 refugee teachers from 3 refugee settlement types in Cox's Bazar. If successful it can be scaled to reach all out of school adolescent Rohingya girls in Cox's Bazar. We expect this number to be in the tens of thousands. In the refugee camp, makeshift settlements and host communities, adolescent girls who have dropped out of school and Unregistered Myanmar Nationals (UMNs) who are illiterate will be prioritised for the blended learning pilot. Success will be measured by assessing 1) achievements in foundational literacy and numeracy for illiterate girls who have not prior education experience, 2) improved learning outcomes based on national standard assessments for Grade 6 – 10, 2) improved literacy and numeracy skills based on national curriculum standards, 3) positive user experience of the Moodle platform and digitalised content, 4) social acceptance from parents and community, and 5) cost effectiveness and affordability.
How is your innovation unique?
This innovation is unique in the following ways: 1) It combines locally relevant digital content with a globally recognised open source learning platform and creates a pathway for Rohingya girls to be educated, 2) Moodle has yet to be used in Bangladesh, despite its prolific penetration in India, 3) It will be the first digital learning experience for refugees in Cox’s Bazar, and 4) We are integrating Myanmar and Bangladesh curriculum on the same platform for the first time. No other NGO or organisation is specifically targeting adolescent Rohingya girls in Education in Emergency work in Myanmar and Bangladesh. It will be successful because it is culturally appropriate; it has been built locally and tested locally; it uses Moodle’s multi-language modality, which enables local adapters to modify content and functions easily. We know the content and delivery mechanism has seen rapid improvement in learning in Bangladesh schools, so we expect a similar result for Rohingya girls.
What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?
1) From the user testing, we need to more formally assess emergent and foundational literacy levels of UMNs who have never been to school.
2) We also need to assess the skills of refugee teachers we would like to engage as tutors for this program and ensure we build a training program for them that enables them to fulfill their roles in AGNEE and learn new skills for their future as teachers in the community.
3) After user feedback, we are needing to better understand the best blended learning model for the girls that incorporates peer learning, tutoring and independent learning.
4) We also need to understand better the demands on adolescent girl’s daily routine and how much time we can allocate for AGNEE each week.
Tell us more about you.
Save the Children is the leading independent global organisation for children. We have been working in Bangladesh since 1970. We seek to enhance opportunities for vulnerable and social excluded groups such as refugees and migrants living in poverty. Our team has strong technical expertise in literacy, teacher training, software digital content development and extensive experience working on EiE with Rohingya refugee children. We have been supporting refugees for two decades in Cox's Bazar.
What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?
Emergency Setting - Elaborate
For two decades, 500,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar. Since the outbreak of violence in 2016, an additional 74,000 UMNs have fled into Bangladesh. The Rohingya have suffered horrific human rights abuses in Myanmar. UMNs live in extreme poverty. Some registered refugees live in the two overcrowded camps where as UMNs and other refugees reside in makeshift settlements and host communities in Cox's Bazar. All children have experienced significant disruption to their education.
Where will your innovation be implemented?
The two registered camps, at Kutupalong and Nayapara, host 33,000 registered refugees. Over 100,000 people are residing in the 3 major makeshift settlements: Kutupalong and Balukhali in Ukhia Upazila and at Leda in Teknaf Upazila. Over 50,000 UMNs are residing in host communities of Ukhia and Teknaf in Cox’s Bazar. The project will pilot the intervention in the three settlement types where Save the Children has established partnerships and projects to support education for children.
Experience in Implementation Country(ies)
Yes, for more than one year.
We have 108 existing partners in Bangladesh including World Bank, ADB, USAID, DFID, UNHCR and UNICEF. Prospective partners include: 1) The Moodle Project to support the learning platform, 2) Digital content partners such as BRAC, D-net, Champs21, 10 minute school. Future School and Khan Academy, and 3) network and tech companies such as Walton, Symphony, Samsung, WE, Huwai. We will collaborate with local implementers supporting Rohingya communities in Cox's Bazar.
I've worked in a sector related to my innovation for more than a year.
Sector Expertise - Elaborate
We have the following expertise in:
• Working with Rohingya refugee populations in the registered camps and host communities;
• Technical capability in foundational literacy, numeracy and multilingual based learning;
• In-house software content development for basic education; and
• Technical expertise on basic education, child protection, gender & adolescent wellbeing.
Existing Prototype or Pilot: I have tested a part of my solution with users and am iterating.
We are a registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.
How has your Idea changed based on feedback?
1) The teachers and girls wanted more opportunity to learn together so we will create more time during the week for peer learning.
2) The needs of UMNs in foundational skills is more extensive than first imagined so we will migrate appropriate early grade literacy and numeracy content including e-readers and literacy games plus audio for second language Burmese on the Moodle platform.
3) Teachers expressed a desire to learn new instructional techniques and this will now be included.
AGNEE updated based on community feedback.
Who will implement this Idea?
SC Bangladesh will select local implementing partners from its extensive and established network already in place for 2 decades in Cox's Bazar to support the outreach and project oversight. We will engage reputable and trusted education stakeholders who are currently active in digital learning in Bangladesh, such as BRAC, to support curriculum content. Our ICT and Education departments will oversee the project and 3 full-staff will be recruited or seconded to support the initiative. Through rigorous partner selection we will engage a mobile tech company to support the digital side of AGNEE.
What challenges do your end-users face? (1) What is the biggest challenge that your end-users face on a day-to-day, individual level? (2) What is the biggest systems-level challenge that affects your end-users?
The challenges are multifaceted. The UMN girls lack agency and legitimacy as they do not have rights to education and need support in non-formal education to ensure they can survive in this very uncertain setting. Many refugee girls lack foundational literacy and numeracy skills so engaging with age appropriate curriculum is difficult for them. UMNs and refugee girls are busy with household duties and so the burden of study may be a challenge for them. The biggest systems challenge is linked to UMN's legitimacy in Bangladesh and the limitations placed on them as a result. The creation of innovative pathways to education that are low cost, affordable and enable curriculum to reach populations that cannot be accessed formally shows to government and community new possibilities.
Interviews held with mothers and girls highlighting some of the challenges they face and their support for AGNEE.
How is your organization considering sustainable growth in order to continue making an impact over time?
Save the Children receives its funding from donors, private companies and the public. It is a large organization with operations in over 120 countries of the world. As part of an international organization, SC Bangladesh draws on financial and technical resources from over 10 member countries to commit long term funding to support Bangladesh's innovative education programs that are often done in partnership with government and partners such as BRAC. Our work is guided by evidence informed technical approaches that target problems facing children who are often excluded from learning.
Tell us about your vision for this project: (1) share one sentence about the impact that you would like to see from this project in five years and (2) what is the biggest question/hurdle you need to address to get there?
IMPACT - By 2022, we aim to scale AGNEE in Cox’s Bazaar District in Bangladesh and replicate the model in Rakhine State in Myanmar, reaching 500 Rohingya adolescent girls through blended e-Learning focused on foundational and functional literacy and numeracy skills and life skills education.
QUESTION - How does the uncertainty of the Rohingya population living in Bangladesh affect the sustainability of the AGNEE project?
How do you currently measure (or plan to measure) outcomes for this project?
1. Improved foundational literacy and numeracy skills for UMNs who are illiterate (assessed during assessments)
2. Increased number of Rohingya girls who continue their education through blended e-Learning (assessed through completion of curriculum modules)
3. Improved skills of refugee teachers in digital learning (assessed through teacher pre and post testing)
Teacher training, tutoring classes, digital content & curriculum development, student and teacher assessments.
What is the timeline for your project Idea? What are the key steps for implementation in the next 1-3 years?
We have included a graphic in the attachments to explain the phasing of this project over the next 2 year period.
The key steps include:
2. Baseline learning assessments
3. Mobilise the field team and field test prototype with 60 girls
4. Final trials and retesting with assessments after the first pilot
5. Implementation, continuous quality improvement and scale up to 360 girls in 3 settlement communities over an 18th month period.
My organization's operational budget for 2016 was:
How many of your team’s paid, full-time staff are currently based in the location where the beneficiaries of your proposed Idea live?
Between 10-20 paid, full-time staff
Is your organization registered in the country that you intend to implement your Idea in?
We are registered in all countries where we plan to implement.
How long have you and your colleagues been working on this Idea together?
Between 6 months and 1 year
What do you need the most support with for your innovation?