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At first when we heard the term school we can visualize the traditional school , where the teacher is standing in front of the student and they can interact with each other. But day by day our education system is falling behind due to lack of schools and experienced teachers.
Being a socially responsible company with Education one of the centers of attention areas of Corporate Responsibility, we would like to find out a way to get involved through which quality education can be ensured. With this objective in mind we are launching ‘Online School’ (pilot).
Online school means a remote school is connected with a sub-urban school in Dhaka where the teacher conduct the class using video conferencing technology where the teacher and students both the party can interact with each other. The students will also get necessary books and stuff in the online school.
On 4 October, 2011 Grameenphone signed an agreement with Jaago Foundation to launch a CR initiative named ‘Online School’. At present, the Jaago Foundation has three schools for the children who are living at the slums. Two of them are at Rayer Bazaar and Banani. The third school is at (Boro Bari, Gacha para) Tongi. The pilot is taking place between the schools at Rayer Bazaar and Tongi. Under this project 80 students participate in the class in two shifts – day shift and morning shift.
This initiative provides a quality education simultaneously both rural and sub-urban area. As well as the moderator who helps to operate the class, they also get the on the job training through this online school.
Though we also are facing some sort of obstacles to adapt this technology, but the CR team working on it to resolve the problem. In the long run if the initiative is proved successful we are planning to implement this idea for at four Alookdeep (non-formal primary school come cyclone shelters) across the coastal areas of Bangladesh. And Asian institute of technology has shown interest on the concept and we are looking forward to have a technical collaboration about the initiative.
Today’s children are the future of tomorrow. And it is education that opens up unlimited possibilities for them to build the foundation for a bright future. However in Bangladesh, 65% of our people live in the darkness of illiteracy, 40% of our children have never gone to school, and 93% of primary school-going students will never progress beyond primary education. Poverty is the main cause behind all this.
Therefore, Grameenphone is a part of the Grameen Shikkha Scholarship Management Program that makes it possible for the bright but underprivileged students to realize their educational endeavors.
This program inspires underprivileged students and gives them the opportunity to study hard and grow as real leaders so that on completion of their studies they may take the challenge to become future leaders of Bangladesh.
December 2003- till date
Grameenphone, in collaboration with Grameen Shikkha, an organization of Grameen Bank Family, provides financial assistance to 100 bright but underprivileged students through a scholarship fund at different academic levels annually. The fund is being managed directly by Grameen Shikkha. Currently 100 scholarships are being managed through Grameenphone’s fund.
11 students participated in Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examination last year (2010) and all of them have passed with flying colors. Four of them have achieved GPA 5.00 (A+) including one Golden A+. The rest have scored an ‘A’ grade. 5 students achieved a GPA 5 in Secondary School Certificate (SSC).
With a strong determination and an aim to become a doctor, Eyerin Al Naser was raised in the remote village of Kishoregonj along with three other siblings. She is the eldest daughter of a small poultry farmer who supports his business through micro-financing by Grameen Bank. She has accomplished brilliant results both in HSC (Golden A+) and SSC (A+). Eyerin is now preparing to get admission into Medical School. Each day is a hardship for the family. For this reason her mother makes contributions to the educational expenses of the other three children by providing private tuitions and sewing dresses for neighboring children.
Aspiring to be an Engineer, Nazmul Islam is the only son of M. A. Mannan and Jhorna Begum. They are day laborers who do not possess any land of their own to grow food and crops. Nazmul has scored GPA 5.00 (A+) in both SSC and HSC exams. He also got scholarships in Class V and Class VIII in talent pool. He has been acquiring partial financial support from his maternal uncle who works as a ‘Line Chief’ in a garment factory. Nazmul is now preparing himself to get admitted in an Engineering University.
Wishing to be a 'Clinician', Afzal Hosen is the son of a day laborer along with three other siblings. He was raised in a small house made of mud and straw. His family was unable to afford higher education, but Afzal continued to work hard and earned GPA 5.00 (A+). He also works as a private tutor to earn money for his family in his spare time. Now Afzal is preparing himself to be admitted into a Medical School.
Daughter of a construction worker, Parul Akhter was raised in a remote village of Feni district. Frustrated on getting an ‘A’ in the SSC exam in 2008, she promised herself to do better in HSC exam. Her conviction combined with her hard work and dedication earned her a GPA 5.00 (A+). Parul is now preparing to get admitted into a university to do her BBA.
Cyclone SIDR, a category 4 storm, struck Bangladesh in November 2007. It first hit the offshore islands and then swept across the southern coast east to west. This caused extensive damages. More than 3.1 million people in the 28 southern districts were reported to have been directly affected by the cyclone. It has been estimated that more than 3,500 people died, with extensive damages of roads and public buildings, including the destruction and partial destruction of 4,306 educational institutions. The most affected areas include Bagerhat, Barguna, Barisal, Bhola, Gopalganj, Khalkathi, Khulna, Madaripur, Patuakhali, Pirojpur, Shatkhira and Shariatpur districts.
Alokdeep aims to provide shelter when natural calamities strike. It otherwise will act as a place to provide non-formal primary education to the poor population of the community.
October 2009 to till date
Grameenphone, as part of its rehabilitation plans in the SIDR affected areas, committed to provide financial assistance to build four non-formal primary school-cum-cyclone shelters named as ‘Alokdeep’ in the southern belt of the country. RDF and Shushilan, the two local NGOs that operate in the selected areas are responsible for the overall management of the project which includes the construction Sand operation of the schools. Each of the Alokdeep consists with a two-storied building along with adjacent playground.
According to the plan, constructions of all four Alokdeeps have been completed and are open for use whenever it is necessary. Two of the Alokdeeps have already started their operation as non-formal primary school and it is expected that the other Alokdeeps will start similar operation in the near future.