ASTHA's initiative in digitalising education 

Initial vocational education and training
Resorting to the potentials of digitalisation and innovative technology, Achieving Sustainability Towards Healthcare Access (ASTHA), a project of Swisscontact in Bangladesh, had taken an ambitious initiative to integrate advanced technology in VET education for community paramedic training curriculum.

The initiative intended to improve the quality of training through modernised visualisation and make the learning process more effective and engaging for the trainees. It was expected that this improvement in training quality would result in developing better educated and high-skilled healthcare professionals, attract more people to the profession of Community Paramedic and ensure better quality healthcare services at the remote rural communities.

New technologies with a lot of potential for education

The integration of such modern technologies gave a new perspective to the trainees and through improved visualisation, their memory retention became longer, and conceptual understanding grew better. Additionally, the teachers also benefitted as they could use these technologies to improve their teaching methods and explain the training contents better than before.

Usage of 3D and VR/AR technologies in VET is new in Bangladesh and can further complement the country’s massive ongoing effort in building skilled and resilient human resources. In the upcoming months, Swisscontact Bangladesh will realise the proof of concept from this pilot experience and explore scopes for replication within its portfolio of other VET and training initiatives.

"Digital technologies are no longer being used solely as a crisis-management tool. As a powerful educational tool, the integration of modern technologies into existing VET and education curriculums, also widely called as the “blended learning methods”, is paving the path to new and extended opportunities – a must for the future – irrespective of a global pandemic."
Fazl Razik, Team Leader, ASTHA – Achieving Sustainability Towards Healthcare Access

Swiss education experts impressed by project

The digitalisation in the ASTHA project was recently presented at an event organised by FoBIZZ (Swiss Forum for Vocational Training and International Cooperation) with experts from the Swiss education sector. The aim of the event was to present the potential and the already successful application of immersive learning technologies - also in the environment of development cooperation. The feedback from the participants proved how forward-looking the ASTHA project is.

"The ASTHA workshop was very insipiring. And you have been the only project from the context of International Cooperation, which makes your work all the more remarkable."
Dr. Christoph Pimmer, Senior researcher and lecturer at Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz FHNW/ School of Business 

This project is financed by Novartis, the Evi Diethelm Winteler Stiftung, the Laguna Foundation, the Leopold Bachmann Stiftung, among other donors. As part of the Swisscontact Development Programme, it is co-financed by SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA).

Initial vocational education and training
High-quality healthcare services in rural areas
Achieving Sustainability Towards Healthcare Access (ASTHA) aims at contributing to the development and expansion of sustainable and high-quality healthcare at the community level by training young adults (50% women) from seven rural districts as skilled health workers. The ASTHA-project will improve the health and living conditions of the local...