Technology in BRAC&rsquo:s Teacher-Training Programme

Faheem Hussain

Department of Engineering & Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, USA

The policy of Government in not giving away terrestrial TV licenses to any private entity, the absence of policy to provide satellite TV spectrum to education providers at a lower rate and above all, the smaller number of satellite TV connections in the rural areas in comparison with that of radio penetration are instrumental in putting radio ahead of any audio-visual broadcasting options.

The author here proposes to supplement traditional BRAC in-service training with an hour of pre-recorded session (30 minute English + 30 minute Mathematics) broadcast (either by radio or by satellite TV) or cassettes (Audio/ Video) during each session of any ISTT cycle. These media interventions are meant to assist instead of replacing the present print based training system, to improve their efficiency. In addition to the assumptions made for the cost estimations of present ISTT, it is also assumed that the transmission time for 1 ISTT Year will be 20 hours (2 transmission per month for Math and English each over 1 ISTT academic year, 30 minutes each).

Cost comparison of different options

For the cost calculation, the following assumptions were made: The total cost has been calculated for one academic year of ISTT.  Total number of ISTT working days over 5 academic years = 122  Annual working days (rounded) = 25  The total number of contact hours per daily ISTT= 7 hours= 420 minutesTotal academic hours for 1 ISTT year = 175 Hours 1 USD= Tk. 65 (Tk is the Bangladeshi Currency)

For variable cost calculation, the cost of equipments, related materials and O&M costs have been included, notable cost data for four different hypothetical training programmes with 10,000 trainees or BRAC School teachers has been provided. For Radio and Satellite TV based options, both single and dual transmission (the number of times any particular lesson being broadcasted daily) costs have been initially considered.

The variable cost of Print based ISTT in a single cycle remains the same, irrespective of the number of paraprofessionals receiving it. But the variable cost of reproduction and material distribution of the options with technological interventions are different and vary with the number of trainees each program includes. The variable cost of present ISTT does not change with number of trainees. But for Radio based option, the author calculates a variable cost range of USD 55

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