Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development
Case Study: Bangladesh
As part of Digital Dimension, a tri-media project looking at the Millennium Development Goals and information communication technology (ICT), a BBC producer interviewed 11-year-old Shahsana 40 kilometres north of Bangladesh's capital Dhaka, in Roverpally.
"I can learn mathematics with the computer. If I have any problem with my English, the computer can solve it.
The computer can do lots of things. I want to be a doctor in the future, and I think doctors need to use computers a lot.
You need them for ultrasonography and x-ray. You can diagnose diseases, things like that." Shahsana
The NGO Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) has provided an internet connection and introduced computers onto the school premises, a rare provision outside the cities.
Fazle Hasan Abed, BRAC’s director, has said that Bangladesh’s rural areas "cannot afford to miss the bullet train of globalisation. And this facility, this window to knowledge, window to information, should be available to our rural population as well, because they constitute 80% of the population of Bangladesh."
The Roverpally buildings house primary and secondary schools and a college. A community library attached to them is one of several hundred BRAC has set up with local people’s support and contributions, as part of its continuing education programme. BRAC has now installed computers in 60 of them.
This library is the first where BRAC is also testing the value of Internet access, provided by wireless connection to their headquarters in the capital.
Email – as a cheap and easy form of communication – is also popular. Still mostly in English, internet content attracts the interest mainly of the older students and members of the community who have studied the language at school.
"Information is a birthright, a human right and everybody has a right to information.
We believe that one of the effective ways of exploitation is the isolation from information. So people should know, they should have access to information, access to knowledge, this is a major role that these technologies are going to play." Fazle Hasan Abed
The spread of information and communication technology is not an objective in itself. But, used well, it can play an important part in the fight against poverty.
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