ROTA Uses Technology to Transform Education in Pakistan | Press Releases

ROTA Uses Technology to Transform Education in Pakistan
14 June 2016

Doha, Qatar, 14 June 2016:Reach Out To Asia (ROTA), in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), is transforming the lives of students and teachers living in the remote Swat region of Pakistan through its mobile learning services project.

Providing access to electronic learning materials, the Aptus system, designed by COL, consists of a server that enables students and teachers to access educational resources on chargeable tablet devices, which can be used on a local server without having to connect to the internet.

Since the start of the project, the unique education initiative has been successfully implemented in Grade 8, 9, and 10 classrooms across the Swat region, providing students with a flexible learning system that includes drills and practice exercises, tutorials, and project and problem-solving based learning opportunities.

Dr Mohamed Ally, Senior Researcher at Athabasca University in Canada, along with local researcher Mr Raffat Khaqan, recently conducted a study to determine the effectiveness of the mobile learning intervention and obtain feedback from students and teachers.

Results from the study revealed there has been a marked improvement in academic performance. Additionally there has been a substantial improvement in teaching methodology, with local teachers now delivering their classroom lessons in a more engaging and innovative way.

Mr Irfan Udin, one of the teachers trained to use the Aptus system, said: “Before we had the tablets I would only be able to read a chapter from a book before asking questions. With the tablet I still read to students, but they can watch a video relating to the book, which gives them an overall better understanding of what we are reading and learning in the classroom.”

“It is remarkable to see the educational transformation of students and teachers who now have access to the mobile learning aids. The Aptus system offers students the opportunity to learn in an innovative way and also improve their technology literacy by using digital learning platforms,” said Mr Essa Al Mannai, Executive Director of ROTA.

“Results from the recent study to evaluate the effectiveness of the mobile learning services have revealed there has been a tremendous progress in academic performance. The Aptus system has been proven to improve students’ ICT skills, which, in turn, better prepares them for the technological era we are living in,” Al Mannai added.

Professor Asha Kanwar, President and CEO of Commonwealth of Learning, said: “The Aptus system is a wonderful example of how innovative ICT combined with strong educational materials can increase more equitable access to learning. As an organisation with expertise in open and distance learning, COL is pleased to see the beneficial impact of the project, which not only supports learning on a local scale, but also contributes to global sustainable development efforts. We are very grateful to be able to work with our esteemed partners ROTA and Qatar Foundation, in bringing this project to students and communities in need.”

ROTA is a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) and through the Aptus system is helping to empower youth through education.

COL is an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) to encourage the development and sharing of open learning/distance education knowledge, resources and technologies. Hosted by the government of Canada and headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia, COL is the world’s only intergovernmental organisation solely concerned with the promotion and development of distance education and open learning. COL is helping developing nations improve access to quality education and training.