Digitally Operated One-Room Schoolhouses (DOORS)-An Inclusive Equitable Approach to Educate Underprivileged Out-of-School Children :async:

Faisal Badar (Charles Darwin University, Australia), Jon Mason (Charles Darwin University)

Openness in education has been a positive driver of change for over two decades. While leveraging technological advancements, several global initiatives have made it their mission to educate all children of the world and to reduce the large numbers of out-of-school children (OOSC). Results to date, however, are not promising. Prior to the pandemic, one out of five children were out of school. The impact of the pandemic now demands re-thinking the strategies to achieve sustainable change, particularly in underprivileged contexts.

Our research is focused on identifying ways to develop adaptable and sustainable approaches to educate underprivileged out-of-school children in rural and remote areas of Pakistan through Digitally Operated One-Room Schoolhouse (DOORS). The DOORS model combines traditional one-room schoolhouse methods with contemporary Educational Technology (EdTech) solutions and Open Education Resources (OERs) to provide customised learning opportunities based on principles of inclusiveness, sustainability, and scalability.

We propose leading an interactive session based on the specific requirements of OOSC in underprivileged contexts. A case study of the EDvantage Digital Learning System (EDLS) will be presented to facilitate interaction. Key phases of design, implementation, and outcomes of the EDLS first campus established in a rural area of Karachi will be highlighted as well as how the EDLS model has effectively accessed, adapted and utilised OERs to teach disadvantaged children where traditional schooling has failed. Participants will be encouraged to offer feedback and guidance on how the EDLS-DOORS model’s emphasis on re-use, re-purposing, and contextualising of OERs can be improved to accommodate diverse localised challenges and limitations faced by these underprivileged communities. The session will facilitate discussion on key topics of sustainability and scalability. Participants engaged in similar challenges in different parts of the world will be encouraged to attend.

Extended abstract: OE_Global_2021_paper_67.pdf 📄

Activity Details

UNESCO OER Action Area: Inclusive and equitable OER
Format: Asynchronous Interactive Activity
Language: English


This activity can be completed at any time during (or after) the conference.

Instructions and materials for the activity will be added below by the authors. They will provide specific details on how to participate and what to share back as a response to the activity.


Please review the Abstract, model & process map. If you have an interest in open ICT4D please offer your comments & advice on other things to be considered that might improve the outcomes of this project.


Thanks Faisal and Jon, this looks like a really useful model that brings the one room school up to date with quality OER and supported use of technology.
Could you just expand a bit more on the “real-life successful case study” that you mention late in the paper. Has this model been implemented anywhere? If so, where, when and with how many students please. And what was their experience?
Thanks in advance, Sarah

Hi Sarah,
Thanks for showing interest in the Digital One-room Schoolhouse model. We are delighted to inform you that EDLS-DOORS (EDvantage Digital Learning System Digitally Operated One-Room Schoolhouse) is practically implemented in remote areas of Pakistan. With two campuses in operation, we are teaching over 100 students through Educational Technology in a One-Room environment.

EDLS Curriculum Structure:

A snapshot of our previous research publications on the subject:

What we would really appreciate is any insights from OE practitioners in terms of technologies and practices that can inform the ongoing development of the EDLS approach

Congratulations - this is a great achievement. It proves the concept and the model in this context. I agree it has promise in other areas where teachers are scarce, so long as the curriculum is culturally sensitive. I have some reservations of models where technology replaces local teachers. I wonder about parental and community care and involvement in this model, how it is kept physically in good order, how the space remains safe for all students. I will explore your published papers where no doubt the details are covered. Congratulations and I hope you can continue to expand these services.

Thanks, Sarah, for your appreciation of our efforts.

  1. Regarding about query about replacing teachers with technology, principally I agree that replacing teachers with technology may not be a feasible solution in general. However, we are dealing with the community who do not have access to schools and teachers at all, so it is not a teacher OR technology option for them. Instead, our model fills the gap of missing teachers and schools in their lives. Moreover, in our model, there is a role of local facilitator (a semi-trained and best-qualified person present in the community) who remains physically present in the Digital One-Room Schoolhouse, in addition to the remotely connected qualified and experienced team.

  2. Our model emphasises regular parental counselling and community involvement in transforming the students, so the students receive an aligned learning environment in and out of school time.

I am sharing a link to our information session here, where the EDLS-DOORS model is discussed in much detail. I hope most of your questions will be answered if you may find time to watch the session video, please.

We are available to discuss any further queries.