This research investigates non-formal Digital Game-Based Learning (GBL) with the most vulnerable and marginalized in Bangladesh and Pakistan, where children between the ages of 5 to 11 are taught the basics of numeracy and literacy through tablet computers and selected mobile game-based educational applications.

The children study without a teacher at their own pace following learning goals that mimic those of the national curriculum of their respective countries.


There is a record number of refugee and migrant children in the world. One-third of them are out of school, even when the right to education is a human right. In Bangladesh and Myanmar alone, there are an estimated 720,000 Rohingya children who do not have access to formal education.

Outside of refugee contexts more children than ever are attending formal education, yet many do not acquire basic skills in reading and mathematics. In Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, fewer than half of the students at the end of primary education have attained the minimum proficiency levels in mathematics and literacy. This can be accounted for the lack of trained teachers and the poor condition of schools.

Digital game-based learning has emerged as a valuable tool for providing students with new ways to learn. There is growing evidence that game-based educational technologies can be used for providing quality education.


Correlations between the initial and the final learning outcomes within the intervention group will be identified through statistical analysis of baseline, mid-line, and end-line data. The data was collected by enumerators through Tangerine, a mobile data collection application. The questionnaires were implemented following the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) and Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA) frameworks, which provide simple, low-cost measures of literacy and numeracy.

The families or caretakers of each child participating in the intervention answered a household survey. Focus group discussions were organized after the intervention together with families and facilitators to collect experiences of the intervention.


Collection of data for the first and second article. Writing the first article. Field visit to Karachi, Pakistan.

Publishing the first article. First field visit to Bangladesh to observe the families and facilitators of the students for the second article. Publishing the second article and design of the tools used to measure the selected constructs in the third article.

The third study is expected to require multiple field visits. The study aims to build on the lessons learned from the first two studies and observe the children as pedagogical agents together with the tablet-computers and applications The related field visits including the active participation of the children partaking in the program will be done throughout 2020. The collected data will be analyzed during the visits and in Finland in late 2020.

Publishing the third article. Preparation of the doctoral dissertation.


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