The analysis of existing studies (secondary data) made us confident that our life skills approach can have a lasting impact. Therefore, in 2019, we decided to collect primary data ourselves to validate the relevance of our strategy and get an in-depth idea of the needs in terms of life skills in Dhaka, Bangladesh. During the months of July and August 2019, we went to 10 primary schools of different types in Dhaka (non-formal, NGO run, private and government public schools) to collect data.
We carried out 27 classroom observations, 10 focus group discussions with students and 10 with guardians, 29 semi-structured interviews with students, 26 with teachers and 18 with guardians. 10 teachers (we did not interview) also filled up a questionnaire. Moreover, we appraised the infrastructures of all 10 schools.
The mission in July and August 2019 in Dhaka also allowed us to participate in different meetings and conferences, such as the national campaign for the rights of the child. Thus, we met multiple partners in the field of development and education and are discussing potential collaborations.
Early 2020, we finalized the data analysis and captured which are the priority life skills and in which areas of application, according to the beneficiaries (students), teachers and guardians. The research findings (available below) enable us to target our actions as much as possible and develop a relevant strategy for the pilot project. Our project is oriented towards a learner-centred pedagogy, the positive discipline, and other innovative methods.
Because of Covid-19, we had to postpone our pilot project in Bangladesh. Therefore, we decided to conduct a small pilot project in some primary schools in Switzerland, through the University of Geneva. We are implementing some of the 21st-century skills related activities we developed and trying to improve them and evaluate the progress made by students. We focus on creativity, critical thinking and communication skills, based on the education program of the French-speaking part of Switzerland.