Sheikh Russel Digital Lab
Md. Rezaul Maksud Jahedi
Additional Director General (Joint Secretary)
Department of ICT &
Project Director Sheikh Russel Digital Lab
Phone: +88 02 8181101/ 02-55006826
Comments and Recommendation from Project Director:
“Sheikh Russel Digital Lab” is a flagship project of the government of Bangladesh for meeting the demand of Digital Bangladesh and ensuring the quality & inclusive education. One of the foremost political commitments of the Hon’ble Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is to develop an educated Digital Bangladesh through positive change in the standard of the life of all walks in society by ensuring highest use of ICT. She announced to build up “A Digital Bangladesh within the year 2021” in ‘charter of Change of days’ in the year 2008. Since then Government has been adopting widespread plan to transform its’ public service delivery mechanism through information and communication technology (ICT) as the transformative driver. The Honorable Prime Minister outlined the Digital Bangladesh having four key priorities – (a) developing human resources ready for the 21st century; (b) connecting citizens in ways most meaningful to them; (c) taking services to citizens’ doorsteps and (d) making the private sector and market more productive and competitive through the use of digital technology.
As per directives, well equipped modern computer labs in the educational institutions at grass root level contribute a lot for the expansion of ICT education in the country. In addition, the project has reaped the benefit of various educational & socio-economic impacts through the 4001 computer labs in SSC and HSC level by providing state-of-art computer facilities, 160 labs in Primary level and 15 labs in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, 65 Language labs have been established as per design for the purpose of dissemination training for local Youths those who are seeking jobs in abroad.
Primarily objectives of the project are to ensure the quality education in secondary and higher secondary. A huge demand has been created in field level for establishing digital lab.
The broad objectives of the project are establishing specialized computer and language training labs in education institutions for creating opportunities to ICT based education, ensuring the quality education, and trained and skilled human resources development by establishing the necessary ICT infrastructure and software-based language education; increasing the skill of the teachers and students of the school, college, madrasa and technical institutions in ICT , & providing training to the unemployed young people for building skilled human resources and to increase the scope of civil and / or indigenous jobs in different foreign language training including Bangle language. All scopes of the project have been achieved in its time. The physical progress of the project’s scopes is 100% and financial progress of the project is 98.19%.
Some organizations have assessed the activities of these labs like IIFC and CRI. On the other hands, the officials of ICT Division and Department of ICT are monitoring and visiting these labs continuously. They have made some observations for these labs and put forward some recommendations also to take necessary actions as follows:
In depth observations, we have found some problems areas for the issues of maintenance, security and avoiding tendency for proper using labs in local areas. Due to ignorance or lack of skill or training some of the targeted users are showing avoiding tendency for reaping the benefits. To face these challenges, Department of ICT has taken some active initiatives to treat these areas. This department has arranged seminars/workshops for sensitizing users and customers usually teachers, students, members of lab management committee and government of officials. We have trained up 8703 teachers from respective schools, colleges and madrasahs in “ICT in Education Literacy, Troubleshooting and Maintenance” training program and distributed a Training Manual all over the country. A monitoring dash board has been setup for proper monitoring and better utilization of resources through online & offline reporting and maintenance. The project has created and established VASHA GURU SOFTWARE (IT enabled language learning S/W) at SRDL in all districts head quarter and 1 for digital Island Moheshkhali. Through this project the entity has trained up 1024 School teachers, Government Officials as TOT for dissemination training for local Youths those who are seeking jobs in abroad.
As a result, greater demand has been created in grass root level for establishing “Sheikh Russel Digital Lab” considering its utility and outcomes. These established labs have been created a greater sense of awareness of the vicinity of rural areas for the uses of ICT. There have also been so many socio-economic benefits such as unemployed youths can get training through these labs. The project has sought to light up the young minds with essential ICT skills in remote parts of the country.
These labs have been unfolded a huge potentiality and opportunity for creating job facilities in young forces in marginalized level. The youths can participate in training courses on free-lancing and outsourcing which are arranging through these labs. Consequently, the local public representatives, Hon’ble MPs, Hon’ble Ministers and State Ministers, academia, educationists, government officials and different educational institutions are showing their keen interest and sending applications, demi-official letters for establishing these labs in their respective institutions for dispensing ICT education in proper manner.
As we can consider that these labs are working as a cornerstone for reaching our goals as ‘Digital Bangladesh. It is recommended that rest of all educational institutions of Bangladesh may have well-furnished computer lab with high speed broadband internet connection and shared-maintenance support for the equipment for ensuring quality education for all.
As a Project Director, I am enthusiastic and grateful for every day simply getting able to know more students are using these labs. For fulfilling these demand & potentiality, the Government of Bangladesh can consider establishing more labs branding name as ‘Sheikh Russel Digital Lab’ all over the country.