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ELAN - Enhancing Literacy and Numeracy

We provide functional literacy/21st century skills in marginalized contexts via digital technology.

The education crisis affects 1 in 10 people who cannot read or write. Millions of children in developing countries are out of school. Traditional education can't solve the problem quickly, but ELAN's digital learning solution using eLearning, tablets, and gamification, is a proven game changer, providing access to quality education to underserved populations.



HundrED has selected this innovation to

EdTech: Bangladesh

Web presence






Target group
Students early
May 2023
We hope to mitigate the crisis of illiteracy around the world particularly in Bangladesh and Pakistan. We hope that the ELAN model will be replicated across the world to provide functional literacy effectively in areas with a lack of teachers and infrastructure, alongside other benefits including digital literacy and self-learning attitudes.

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

The education crisis is global, with developing nations being hit the hardest. In Bangladesh, 4.3 million children are out of school and 58% of Grade 5 students struggle to read and comprehend a simple text. Traditional education models are too slow to solve the problem, but digital technology coupled with self-learning and gamification provide a cost effective and scalable solution.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

ELAN’s model is a simple and scalable “functional literacy” solution for students in Pre K to Grade 2. It has been deployed with excellent results in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Malawi, in varied settings, from urban slums to refugee camps and remote Himalayan villages.

ELAN students outperform students in traditional schools, achieving at least 1.5 times the learning gains, as measured by independent third parties across time, multiple geographies, and environments.

We partner with best-in-class award-winning content providers and deploy their content on tablets and smartphones. The model does not require reliance on a trained teacher. The model delivers world-class reading, writing, and math applications in a gamified format, on low-cost tablets and smartphones. Children learn math, English and their local language in a gamified format for 2 hours a day/6 days a week in a facilitated setting within existing schools or in community-based learning centers powered by solar technology.

How has it been spreading?

Over the last 2 years, ELAN has scaled to 2,700 learners in 3 countries, with validated impact evaluations showing students outperform traditional models by 1.5x. ELAN has also received global recognition, winning the World Bank’s Ideas4Action competition and featured by UNESCO among the best COVID-response interventions in 2021. ELAN was a finalist in the MIT Solve Global Challenge in 2022 and finalists for MIT Solve Tiger Challenge for Bangladesh in 2019, which we presented in Dhaka.

Over the next 2-3 years, we aim to scale ELAN to 200,000 learners globally by partnering with local governments for policy integration and implementation. ELAN will create lasting social impact by:

Accelerating access to education
Enhancing socio-economic well-being
Empowering girls, women and communities

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Teach the World created The ELAN model with the intention of replication across the developing world. We use off-the-shelf hardware to deploy content from internationally recognized providers. We can provide training and strategic oversight for deployment of the model. Organizations interested in partnering with us can contact our Vice President Adnan Ahmed at adnan.ahmed@teachtheworld.org.

Impact & scalability

HundrED Academy Reviews

I have personally visited this innovation in Bihari Camp Dhaka and Rohingya Camp in Cox's Bazar in-person, and found very much engaging and joyful to students. It is impacting students' learning significantly.

Use of low-cost tablets and smartphones along with a focus on functional literacy makes it highly scalable. Also, it does not require trained teachers which would have been a barrier to scale.

- Academy member
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
Read more about our selection process

Implementation steps

Step 1: Review of Content and Hardware
The team conducts a thorough review of existing e-learning content and off-the-shelf hardware to determine which would suit our needs and contexts best.
Step 2: Community Identification
Through implementing partners and local governments, we identify areas with high concentrations of out-of-school children
Step 3: Hiring of Program Officer and Facilitators
Program officers are hired for liaising with the community and providing field monitoring and oversight. Local women from the community who have completed their matriculation are hired as digital learning facilitators.
Step 4: Identification of Learning Space
Program officers liaise with the community members to identify and lease a one-room space to be used as a digital learning center.
Step 5: Installation of Solar Power
The digital learning space is equipped with solar power in partnership with existing providers.
Step 6: Identification and Enrollment of Students
Program officers and digital learning facilitators conduct visits and awareness sessions with the community, parents in particular, to encourage them to enroll their children into school. For each school, 100 students are enrolled from the community.
Step 7: Hardware and Software Procurement
Up to 26 Android-based tablets are procured for each school. 25 of these tablets are to be used by students in 4 shifts of 25 students each. The remaining tablet is for the facilitator's use.
Once the hardware is procured, we also acquire user licenses for each student from our e-learning content partners.
Step 8: Training of Facilitators and Field Staff
Our facilitators and field staff are engaged in a 5-day training covering areas such as content, classroom management, mechanisms for monitoring and reporting, and technical troubleshooting. The training is conducted by experts from our implementation team.
Step 9: Deployment and Launch
Our digital learning center is launched with a small event attended by community members, parents, donors and other relevant stakeholders.
Step 10: Ongoing Monitoring and Assessment
A baseline assessment is conducted 1 week after the launch of the digital learning center. Subsequent midline and endline assessments are conducted at 3-month intervals to determine efficacy and impact.
Our implementation team regularly monitors the deployment making use of hardware such as CCTV cameras as well as weekly reviews of in-app usage data provided by our e-learning content partners.

Spread of the innovation

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