Young Bangla collaborates with the government’s ICT Division to set up countrywide computer and language training labs called Sheikh Russell Digital Labs (SRDLs) to develop Information Technology (IT) and foreign language skills among school students.

The ICT Division under the Ministry of Post, Telecommunications and IT and Young Bangla, a youth led platform of Centre for Research and Information (CRI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 2 October, 2016, for imparting training to more than 2000 digital labs set up by Sheikh Russel Computer and Language Lab (SRCLL) in schools and colleges across the country.

According to the MoU, Young Bangla(YB), the youth platform of the CRI, will provide support in the form of identifying and entrusting suitable volunteers for the roles of coordinators and general members from across Bangladesh to monitor and maintain the overall activities of these labs.

Every district has received at least one digital language training lab where students can learn nine languages including –English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Arabic and Chinese. These language labs will be equipped with language software and around 5,602 teachers have been recruited. A total of 2,801 computer labs, including 65 language training labs already established in high schools and madrasahs across the country. 2,24,100 volunteers are engaged into these labs countrywide.

The labs with internet connections will also be used as multimedia classrooms, cyber centers and training labs by the school authorities as these labs will be equipped with laptops, printers, scanners, multimedia projectors, and 3G routers. Each lab can accommodate up to 16 students or trainees and an instructor. The young generation in turn are expected to be proficient in IT as well as foreign languages, leading to enhanced freelancing and outsourcing workforce of the country.

According to Sabbir Bin Shams, Executive Director, CRI “This scheme will enable our students at schools and colleges acquiring an understanding on ICT knowledge, given that without this, attaining Vision-2021 will not be possible…Moreover, we would work hand in hand with the concerned authorities both at schools and colleges to train up the young students”.

National Children & Youth Programming Contest has been devised and is floated to make young minds interested in getting engaged in programming at the grassroots across the country. Sheikh Russell Digital Lab were selected in 64 districts as venue for training and district-level contests during the contest. A comprehensive training started for the youngsters in Sheikh Russell digital Labs countrywide. ICT teachers and SRDL lab coordinators were also an intrinsic part of the contest.