Creative computing in Bangladesh

Children learn coding through creative play in libraries across Bangladesh

Children learning to code in a classroom
A portrait of Sumaya who is one of the girls learning to code.
This is a completely new experience — it is the first time I’ve done programming.

I had great fun!

I really want to be a part of more workshops like this in future
Sumaya, age 15

In September 2018, Munshiganj Public Library welcomed more visitors in one day than ever before. This is the start of something that has never happened at the library, or even in the history of any public library in Bangladesh; children are invited to learn about computer coding for free.

Sumaya visits the Munshiganj Public Library in Dhaka

Sumaya visits the Munshiganj Public Library in Dhaka

The coding workshop was the first of many to be organised by Libraries Unlimited, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded project delivered by the British Council.

Libraries Unlimited aims to modernise the libraries of Bangladesh and improve public access to information and knowledge across all 64 districts in Bangladesh.

Map courtesy of Nations Online

Map courtesy of Nations Online

The programming workshops are a great initiative to introduce new technologies to children in Bangladesh...

This type of program will change the common perception of libraries, and publicise the library as a centre for interactive learning.
Rafia Sultana, librarian at Munshiganj Public Library
One of Britain's best startups, Kano, is teaching children how to build computers and code - imagine what that could do...
Teresa May, UK Prime Minister

96 per cent of children expressed interest in learning more coding in the future

Based on a survey of 566 workshop participants

Based on a survey of 566 workshop participants

99 per cent said they would visit the library more often if events like this were offered

Based on a survey of 566 workshop participants

Based on a survey of 566 workshop participants

I’m fascinated by coding but had never done it before today... that’s why I’m really happy to be here.

I want to be a software engineer in future.
Tamim, age 11, in Central Public Library, Dhaka
A portrait of Tamim, age 11, in Central Public Library, Dhaka

There are 47 million children in Bangladesh

UNESCO Institute for Statistics, http://uis.unesco.org/country/BD

UNESCO Institute for Statistics, http://uis.unesco.org/country/BD

Less than half attend school beyond the age of 15

BANBEIS (Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics)

BANBEIS (Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics)

The British Council is committed to providing quality digital education to children all over the world – particularly engaging with girls, young women, and youths in disadvantaged communities.

There are more than 20 billion connected devices today, but less than 1% of us can understand and influence them.

These free library workshops aim to increase public access to digital skills training, and inspire kids to create technology, not just consume it.

Working with our UK partners, Kano and the Micro:bit Educational Foundation, we are bringing the best of computing education and digital making to Bangladesh.

Kano Computer Kits allow children to build a PC, and use software challenges to explore, hack, make music, and build apps.
The Kano is powered by the Raspberry Pi.

Kano Computer Kits allow children to build a PC, and use software challenges to explore, hack, make music, and build apps.
The Kano is powered by the Raspberry Pi.

Kano is a computer anyone can make, giving children a simple, fun way to make and play with technology, and take control of the digital world around them.

With a focus on simple steps, storytelling, and creative play, Kano helps kids understand how computers work - through the creative process of building a computer from scratch.

"One of Britain's best startups, Kano, is teaching children how to build computers and code - imagine what that could do..."
Teresa May, UK Prime Minister

70 per cent more girls said they would choose Computing as a school subject after using the micro:bit

BBC Impact Study, https://microbit.org/research/

BBC Impact Study, https://microbit.org/research/

The micro:bit is a pocket-sized computer created by the BBC's Make It Digital initiative that aims to inspire kids to get creative with coding, programming and digital technology.

The micro:bit is a programmable computer with motion detection, a built-in compass and Bluetooth technology.

The micro:bit is a programmable computer with motion detection, a built-in compass and Bluetooth technology.

The British Council uses the micro:bit to teach children the basics of programming and to show how people are connected to the digital world through code.

Research shows a child's interest in coding increases when learning through a creative topic. Subjects such as music, art, drama and literature, even sport – can all enhance digital skills through learning with the micro:bit.

The micro:bit is an affordable device designed to enthuse, excite and empower a new generation of digitally creative young people.

The micro:bit is an affordable device designed to enthuse, excite and empower a new generation of digitally creative young people.

Following the success of the workshops, Kano Computer Kits and micro:bits will be rolled out nationwide to public libraries across Bangladesh - providing free access for children to learn and play, and get creative with coding.

By 2020, Libraries Unlimited will have provided access to Kano and micro:bit devices for 175,000 children.

Our goal is to demystify technology.

Just as using computers became mainstream a generation ago, understanding and coding them is becoming so now
Alex Klein, Co-founder and CEO at Kano

Supporting the next generation of digital makers