BBC Janala has received a prestigious GSMA Award at the 16th Annual Global Mobile Awards.
The project, which is part of the English in Action initiative, was selected from over 100 nominees, winning in the category of Best Product, Initiative or Service for Underserved Segments.
As the global body representing the mobile communications industry, the GSMA Awards are one of the most significant accolades for development initiatives using mobile phones in the world.
The awards ceremony took place at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and was hosted by British TV and radio presenter Jonathan Ross.
BBC Janala impressed judges with its use of mobile technology to reach some of the poorest people in Bangladesh and provide an affordable way to learn.
The pioneering service was launched in November 2009 by the BBC World Service Trust. It provides daily three-minute audio lessons via mobile phone to the millions of Bangladeshis who want improve their English language skills. In Bangladesh, English is widely considered to be a vital tool to get a better job and gain access the global economy.
At a cost of just 50 paisa (half a pence) per minute, the lessons have proved popular with over 3.5 million learners using the service.
Explaining BBC Janala’s achievement, the awards body said: “A mobile education programme (teaching English) integrated with content online, on TV and in print, focused on those living on less than $2 a day. Lessons are downloadable, or provided on demand (at a quarter of the standard charge). A truly great product.”
Sara Chamberlain, Head of Interactive for the BBC World Service Trust, said:
“In Bangladesh, we have seen how technology – in particular mobile – can provide quality and affordable education to many millions of ordinary people, even if they are living on a few dollars a day.”
“We would like to thank DFID and Bangladesh’s mobile operators for making this possible and hope BBC Janala can offer insight into how similar services can be established around the developing world.”
BBC Janala is part of English in Action, a major initiative launched to raise the language skills of 25 million people in Bangladesh by 2017. It is funded by the UK’s Department for International Development.
To know more about BBC Janala, please visit the BBC Janala official website.
Source: BBC World Service Trust