In a landmark initiative aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty and illiteracy, the Bashundhara Shuvosangho schoolestablished in Dhaka's Mirpur section-14 slum has been a transformative force in the lives of the underprivileged children.
Established and operated by Bashundhara Shuvosangho, a social welfare initiative of Bashundhara Group, the educational institution has become a symbol of enduring positive change, offering new avenues for a brighter, more promising future to children who have long been marginalised.
Founded in September 2022 under the directive of Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan, and with the guidance of noted litterateur and Editor-in-Chief of daily Kaler Kantho, Imdadul Haq Milan, the school aims to integrate the marginalised children of the slum into mainstream society.
For the low-income families residing in the slum, the school has been a sigh of relief. Now, their children have an opportunity to be educated and become skilled manpower in the future, thereby potentially breaking the cycle of poverty that has plagued their lives for generations.
The children, many of whom have never attended school or are dropouts, used to work in shops and garment factories. Some were even involved in criminal activities.
On the inaugural day, students received new books, dresses, bags, and stationeries, illustrating the group's commitment to fostering a nurturing learning environment.
The cost of teachers' salaries, as well as books and stationery for the students, will continue to be covered by the Bashundhara Group.
Imdadul Haq Milan elaborated on the objective behind this noble initiative, stating that the school is an attempt to help these disadvantaged children become part of mainstream society through proper education. He also assured that the Bashundhara Group would provide support for the students' higher education.
It's not just a standalone initiative; Bashundhara Group has already established 15 schools across various parts of the country and plans to extend its educational endeavours to all 64 districts.
This broader strategy signifies a systematic approach to tackling the educational disparity that grips the nation.
The school is enrolling both new students and those who have dropped out previously. Additionally, teachers and members of Bashundhara Shuvosangho are making house visits to raise awareness among parents about the importance of educating their children.
Bashundhara Shuvosangho school has not only brought the prospect of education but has also ignited a newfound enthusiasm for learning among the slum children.
The school now boasts an enrolment of 130 students across classes one to three. Furthermore, students receive study materials every three months, adding an extra layer of encouragement.
Among the students, Taslima Akter, a third grader, stands as a testament to the transformational power of education.
She has never met her father, and her mother, who is speech-impaired, depends on her maternal uncle for sustenance. Previously enrolled in a school costing Tk 500 per month, the financial burden became unsustainable for her uncle.
Since her enrolment in the Bashundhara Shuvosangho school, she has excelled academically and even assists her struggling classmates.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, an NGO-operated school used to serve the community. However, the pandemic forced its closure, leaving the children in educational limbo. The establishment of the Bashundhara Shuvosangho school has emerged as a lifeline in these dire circumstances.
Parents are equally pleased with the new educational establishment. The financial relief of not having to pay for education is significant for these families. Furthermore, the school employs expert teachers who provide not only education but also books and stationery.
In recognition of this noble effort, the slum dwellers have expressed their heartfelt gratitude towards the Bashundhara Group Chairman for making cost-free education accessible.
Selina Akter, a teacher at the school, shared that the institution has quickly gained popularity among the community.
To keep the children engaged and motivated, the school has introduced various initiatives such as weekly tiffin services, distribution of summer fruits, and monthly cultural programmes.
Additionally, moral lessons are incorporated into the curriculum to guide children away from juvenile offences. Health workshops are also held bimonthly to educate students on the importance of hygiene.
By undertaking these comprehensive efforts, Bashundhara Group has firmly positioned itself as the steward of these young lives, steering them towards a promising future against all odds.SOURCE : Daily Sun
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