- Safe Internet
- Online School
It is acknowledged that the quality of primary education in Bangladesh is far behind the quality we aspire. The main reason for this fall back is considered as shortage of schools and most importantly, shortage of quality teachers, particularly in rural and remote areas.
Being a socially responsible company with education as one of the focus areas of Corporate Responsibility, Grameenphone opted for a medium through which quality education can be ensured. Thus “Online School” was launched.
The idea of Online School is that the teacher conducts class from a distant location using video conferencing technology with the aid of moderators in the actual class. These moderators, who are from the local community, have no teaching background but can help the teacher in operational issues. The main objective of the Online School is to ensure quality education for underprivileged and secluded children living at the urban slums and remote areas. It also helps develop teachers who can deliver quality education. The first Online School started in August 2011 with 80 Students. At the end of the first academic year, a comparison of performance was done among similar types of schools (Banani School and Rayerbazaar School) and Online School. The findings were clear. On a GPA scale of 4, the Online School had a year-end average GPA of 3.3725 while Banani School and Rayerbazar School 2.8675 and 3.08 respectively.
Today there are 693 students in 10 schools located in Gazipur, Gaibandha, Rajshahi, Madaripur Bandarban, Teknaf, Rangpur, Dinajpur, Hobigonj and Laxmipur.
We hope this concept will help deliver two very important benefits to the society
1. Ensure quality education to underprivileged and left out students
2. Teacher development as the Moderators are also learning how the class is conducted
The Online School has three partners, namely Jaago Foundation, Agni Systems Ltd. and Grameenphone Ltd. Jaago Foundation, a nonprofit civil society organization is responsible for providing on-ground services, run operations of the schools and design curriculum for different classes. Agni System Ltd. provides last mile internet solution for the schools for free of cost. Agni also provides technical support in regards to internet connectivity to Jaago Foundation for the initiative. Grameenphone provides financial and backbone support for internet connectivity for the initiative.
The Online School is a unique idea through which quality education similar to that available in major cities may be provided to the disadvantaged population living at the slums and remote areas. Children who avail this support find it very interesting to study this way and they find learning to be fun. Initiatives such as this will educate people on the benefits of the internet and the amazing things that can be done through it.
Online School uses simple video conferencing technology to operate the school. Depending on the nature of operation we selected Webex (a product of SISCO) to conduct the classes. Other than this software the project uses laptops, web cam, sound system, large screen TV, sketch board for teachers and at least 1.5 MBPS data speed (duplex). To ensure the data speed the project uses fiber optic or radio connectivity for internet connection. Besides, this project also requires different education contents which are collected from different sources or developed by the project itself
Starting from Elementary Class (a blend between Play Goup and Nursery) Students of Online School has reached Class 1. The school follows English Version of local curriculum.
Teachers Center: In order to host the classes from Dhaka in a disciplined manner we also have established a studio named ‘Teachers Center’. Teachers Center is the place from where teachers of Online School conduct classes. It is situated over 3000 sft of floor space at Rayer Bazaar, consisting 10 studio setups to facilitate the teachers. Online School Teacher’s Center is capable of conducting 10 classes (each of 3/4 hours duration) simultaneously and it has the capacity of conducting 20 such classes every day. At present we are conducting 19 classes every day from this location. Teacher’s center is connected to the net through fiber optic with a speed of 30 MBPS (duplex). This facility also consists of teachers common room, research and limited facility for content development.
- 2.1 million free internet hours for 250 Schools
250 schools. 100,000 students. 2.1 million Internet hours.
Grameenphone envisions building a digital future for Bangladesh and empowering societies by providing “Internet for All”. GP recently launched a program to provide 2.1 million free Internet hours to 250 schools across the country. The initiative is part of global "Safer Internet" aimed at creating awareness about internet safety for young users.Rural Bangladesh is still struggling with poor ICT infrastructure, low internet penetration, lack of awareness and limited access to different required information and content services, which has created a major digital divide between rural and urban societies. This program aims to help broaden access to the world of ICT for school children, especially those living in rural Bangladesh. The campaign will aid in creating equal opportunity to access educational content, news, information and knowledge for all.
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.
- Alokdeep: Non-Formal Primary School cum Cyclone Shelters
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.
Southkhali, Shoronkhola, Bagerhat
Ryanda, Shoronkhola, Bagerhat
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.