Towards Digital Multigrade One-room Schoolhouses for Underprivileged Communities in Rural Pakistan

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Context matters in the design and development of educational opportunities. Despite extensive global efforts to make education accessible for all, one out of every five children are out-of-school. The situation demands re-thinking of learning strategies, particularly in underprivileged contexts. Continued advancements in learning technologies may offer novel solutions. The one-room schoolhouse is a centuries-old proven educational system, which has yielded promising results for rural areas. Using a multigrade teaching method, the one-room schoolhouse provides a resilient model for educating children where school administration faces typical issues of remote and rural areas such as lack of quality teachers, fewer children in each level, low socio-economic status of parents, lack of rooms in a school building, etc. This paper reports a case study of an integrated approach to teaching out-of-school children in rural Pakistan using education technology in a one-room schoolhouse environment using a multigrade teaching method. The paper (1) synthesizes the knowledge of practice and research on one-room schoolhouses, multigrade teaching, and education technology developments; (2) reports the on-ground practices of multigrade one-room schoolhouses in a real-life scenario in rural Pakistan and integrating digital capabilities into these schoolhouses; and (3) proposes the ways to implement and scale this method to educate out-of-school children in other underprivileged communities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)21-39
Number of pages19
JournalComputer-Based Learning in Context
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2020


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