November 14, 2014

The Google Bus Is Bringing Internet Skills to Half A Million Students in Bangladesh

Screenshot of Google Bus from the Intro Video on YouTube
Screenshot of Google Bus from the Intro Video on YouTube (click to watch the video)
A team from tech giant Google is driving across Bangladesh to teach half a million college and university students throughout Bangladesh how to make the most of the Internet. The specially retrofitted Google Bus powered with 3G mobile Internet will visit 500 campuses in 35 locations across the South Asian country.

More and more people in Bangladesh are going online, thanks to 3G mobile Internet. In last two years, Internet penetration jumped to 20 percent from just 5 percent in 2012. These new users, especially young people, do not have adequate training to harness the potential of Internet and new media.

The Google Bus initiative seeks to change that, not only allowing students to connect to the Internet but also learn about new tools that aid their education and development and attend instructor-led training sessions. Students involved in the project will also be able to use a number of Internet-connected Android devices.

The bus has already visited several colleges and universities in the capital Dhaka. In the coming months, it will start its journey towards academic institutions in and around Chittagong, Khulna, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Barisal and other major cities.

Netizens have expressed their enthusiasm for Google's initiative:
Many students have shared their experience on the Google Plus community page. Murad Hossain from Adamji Cantonment College posted:
The Google bus team came to our #ACC college Campus..It's just great :) Though it's new to me but feeling excited. Hope in Bangladesh it will spread soon and gain popularity...
Orpita Ahmed (Bristy) wrote:
Hi, I'm bristy from tejgaon college. I like Google Bus. It is very essential for our daily life. So I like it very much.
On Bangladeshi blog Jhalmoori, Ahmed Rabib Towsif explained the significance of the Google Bus:
Google as we all know by their search engine is a multinational company with a mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. With the Google Bus Bangladesh initiative it would not only benefit the youth from today, but benefit the whole country tomorrow.

The post was also published in Global Voices Online.


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