Delivering remote learning using a low-tech solution during COVID-19 school closures

During the prolonged school closure because of the COVID-19 pandemic, most children in rural Bangladesh are missing out on formal education as they have very limited access to online and other forms of distance education. We develop a set of audio lessons using an Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) methodology – a method that allows learners to stop and react to questions and exercises through verbal response and to engage in physical and intellectual activities with a ‘special helper’, such as an adult household member, while the program is ‘on the air’. We deliver these lessons to children in grades two to four over 15 weeks via basic mobile phones using the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. This programme is widely accessible as basic mobile phone penetration rate in rural Bangladesh is significantly higher, close to 95%, than other one-way technologies such as radio and television.

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