Fostering Responsible Digital Citizenship
January 11, 2022
Have you heard about digital citizenship? It refers to the ability to participate on social media with respect to human rights, dignity, and conscience.
With digital platforms becoming an integral part of the education sector, students from all around the world are now connected to the digital space. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that they are navigating through the digital world safely. Educating students on digital citizenship will help them learn to be mindful of their actions online, protect their privacy, and prevent cyberbullying.
In alignment with the objective of digital citizenship, Fostering responsible digital citizenship (FRDC) is a program where the youth generation of Bangladesh are encouraged and supported to learn about online safety practices. It is a collaborative program of Dnet and Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF Bangladesh) funded by the European Union. FRDC has been able to reach more than 1000 university students from 5 universities in Dhaka and Rajshahi and help students become responsible about their digital footprints.
FRDC launched an educational website on digital citizenship as it began its journey in February 2020. The FRDC website offers eight free online courses designed to teach students how to interact in the virtual environment in a safe, positive, and competent manner. The courses focus on building democratic views, good governance, media literacy practices in students. In addition to this, students will get to know about how to resolute online disputes, secure their online accounts and use positive freedom of speech. The enrolled students get lifetime access to videos and PDFs. Moreover, after completing each course, they can take part in the quiz competition which is launched in rounds. In every round, 20 winners among the participants are chosen and rewarded. The students are also given a handbook that incorporates storytelling and comic images to stimulate their thoughts.
Only by being mindful of digital citizenship can students take preventive measures against potential harm while benefitting from the positive attributions of the online world. Fostering Responsible Digital Citizenship will assist the youth of Bangladesh to engage in a culture of positive and safe communication in the digital world. And it will support them to become more responsible citizens by expressing their views independently and safely through digital channels.
Dnet conducted extensive study on social media-based women businesses
January 11, 2022
In the twenty-first century, women are becoming more entrepreneurial even in our country. According to research, online-based women’s entrepreneurship is on the increase in Bangladesh. Some of them may have begun it as a pastime, while others may be doing it as a profession. And it is really appreciable. But the question arises-are they operating their business effectively or have any obstacles they must overcome?
In general, the answer is “Yes”. Also, the challenges are immense when we think about it in terms of our country. Because in our country or even in some other country women are unable to undertake whatever job they choose. In every sector, they are susceptible. Therefore, it’s not just a problem for rural women; it’s also a problem for city women. In addition, cybercrime is prevalent in our country. As a result, the online business world is likely to be unwelcoming to female entrepreneurs, particularly for those social media-based women entrepreneurs (SMBWE). Focused on these issues, The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) partnered with Dnet to conduct user research and concept testing.
The research mainly focused on the overall situation, challenges, and support requirements of social media-based women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. The main goal of UN ESCAP is to design a solution that will help the foundation create a database of women entrepreneurs and offer value-added services. According to the study, 69 percent of women have contributed to family income through f commerce, just a quarter of social media women entrepreneurs own assets, and the majority of social media women entrepreneurs are located in urban areas. Besides ESCAP aimed at addressing three key overarching barriers faced by women entrepreneurs:
First, enabling policy environment and regulatory challenges. Second, access to finance which is important. For women entrepreneurs to continue their businesses at full capacity and recoup their successes, they need easy access to capital. Third, use of information and communication technologies (ICT) by women entrepreneurs. In this digital age which is a fundamental tool for women. Stakeholders, active and inactive social media-based women entrepreneurs, and offline women entrepreneurs were among the participants in this study.
While the study is still underway, it is expected that the findings will be used to uncover some real stories and creative solutions. And that will that will make the path for the next female entrepreneur easier who wants to start an internet business or who have already started but quit in the middle of their success.
InfoLady- Empowering the communities through Women Infopreneurship.
January 11, 2022
Infolady is one of the biggest programs of Dnet. The notion of “Infolady” was developed from a desire to challenge the current quo and create a voice. People in Bangladesh’s rural areas, particularly women, have limited access to information. On the other hand, for various reasons, they aren’t even permitted to move around. InfoLady is a model of info-preneurship for women in rural areas who can create a multi-layer impact on the lives of marginalized people. In Bangla, we call this “Tathyakallani“. It is an initiation to bring change to society and the woman herself. The info lady who rides a bicycle and defies the established quo in a male-dominated world where riding a bicycle is seen as a man’s job. She chooses a vocation that requires her to use cutting-edge information technology such as a laptop, the internet, and a smartphone, among other things. She defies the prejudice that women are incapable of dealing with technology once more.
Infolady is a fantastic opportunity for women to be an entrepreneur. A woman must invest around 70,000 to 80,000 BDT, including training and equipment, to become an Infolady or mobile lady. They can earn between 5,000 to 20,000 BDT per month as an infoLady. On the other side, they may boost their income by providing exceptional services to the locals.
It’s a “women-for-women” family-based info-preneurship model in which they give vital services such as livelihood information and knowledge, international and local phone calls through instant messenger, photography, Internet-based information, video and animation, and so on. However, they are the most powerful figures in those villages. The locals are very grateful for the info ladies. They can get any information they require in their everyday lives since they have access to it.
Dnet has won several honors for its strong women’s program. The ‘Pallitathya Helpline,’ for example, won the Global Gender and ICT Award in 2005 for the concept of a Mobile Lady in the community, which allows rural women to submit agriculture, health, legal, and other livelihood queries to a ‘expert helpdesk’ by mobile phone. InfoLady, on the other hand, received the Manthan South Asia Award in 2011 in the “Agriculture & Livelihood” category, as well as the Global Development Awards in 2012, The Bobs Award in 2013, and several other accolades.
Rapid Technological Advancement & Marginalized Youth Education
February 20, 2022
Education is a basic human right and is necessary for sustainable social and economic development. However, to meet the demands of our changing economy, we must go beyond formal education – including math, social studies, and science – because the future of education lies in helping students develop lifelong skills that will set them up for success in the 21st century. Students can learn 21st-century technical abilities by using technology both inside and outside the classroom. Through technology, students can obtain fast access to knowledge, rapid learning, and engaging ways to apply what they’ve learned. It also allows students to explore new disciplines and get a better comprehension of complex concepts.
But, in many developing countries, especially in Bangladesh, we can observe technological gaps and discrimination in primary and secondary education because of a lack of access to technology, ICT materials, and trained teachers. As a result, underprivileged youth struggle for years to gain empowerment and better-paying jobs in their careers. Moreover, students living in cities have better access to technology, information, and opportunities to practice their skills and ideas than students living in rural areas.
The Computer Literacy Program (CLP) program of Dnet began its journey in 2004 to remove the gap and eliminate prejudice to address this challenge. CLP offers free training on computers and internet browsing instruction with the help of experienced teachers to enable underprivileged youth to improve their digital literacy and competency. Another initiative, Smart Classroom (SCR), equips secondary school students in rural Bangladesh with educational possibilities through digital resources such as personal computers, the internet, instructional CDs, and ICT-based interactive learning resources. In addition to that, Connecting Students Around the World (C-SAW), another program of Dnet, promotes cultural communication and understanding amongst youths from across the world and develops students’ communication abilities in English.
Some notable projects of Dnet, such as Education through Entertainment (EE), also use the computer and multimedia resources from Computer Learning Centers (CLCs) and Smart Classrooms (SCRs) to make learning fun for students. Also, the other excellent programs of CLP are “Esho Computer Shikhi” and “Tokai (টোকাই) CLC”. So far, Computer Learning Centers (CLCs) are furnished with 285 computer literacy centers, 179 smart classrooms, 97 associate centers, and have a presence in 55 districts all over Bangladesh. Also, 354 computer programs have been built in Bangladesh during the last sixteen years. Moreover, 2000 students graduate from the centers every six months.
In summary, CLP is a program that aids underprivileged individuals, especially the youth, in getting the opportunity they equally and effectively deserve so that they can contribute to our country’s potential development.