Nur Jahan, now has been working as a housemaid in city’s Muhammadpur area, has started his second innings of education at Ananda School, (school of joy) a school for underprivileged slum children, said: “I had left my school after grade 1 and came in Dhaka from Rangpur for searching work. But I always wanted to continue my study.”
For these children like Nur Jahan, school is something unattainable, something that they can only dream about, because where they come from, there is a huge gap between their dreams and the harsh reality of their day to day lives. However, to educate these kinds of children the government has started schools for the disadvantaged children from the slums under the project of Reaching Out of School Children II (ROSC), with the help of World Bank.
Nur Jahan, who attends school at 2pm and stays there until 5pm said: “At present, I do little errands in the household such as taking care of the baby or washing utensils and I have been paid Tk1200 monthly”
According to her information, her family lives in Mithapur of Rangpur district and his father a day a labourer in the agriculture sector and her mother takes care of the livestock.
Nur Jahan, who had a two years gap, is very passionate in her study, continued: “My elder sister told me to study well or my father would give me married. I started my schooling, and now I am in grade 3. I do not want to get marry in an early age.”
Some thousands students like Nur Jahna attend at 21 Ananda Schools in Dhaka’s slums. The schools aim is to give second chance education for the students, mostly drop outs, day labourers and underprivileged children of city’s slum. Students who attend in the classes get Tk1560 as stipend. The school authorities also provide textbooks, school uniforms and stationary.
Asim Nipa Ballave, facilitator of Jeneva Camp Urban Slum Ananda School said: “Life in a slum is very unhealthy for children.”
“There are many students in our school whose parents are involved in drug business and the students aged 8 to 9 can named all kinds of drugs,” Asim said.
The facilitator told to the Dhaka Tribune: “We give less homework to the students. There are two shifts in our school. Students used to play indoor games like carrom board, chess and ludu in the school. The children prefer to stay in the school to have a playful time.”
“After completing grade 5, the students will be guided in skill development training courses,” said the facilitator.
In an Ananda School there are four class rooms, 189 students and 4 teachers with one facilitator.
Rozina Akhter, teacher of an Ananda School said: “The utmost challenge we have faced, most of the students of our schools are irregular. We used to go at their houses, met with their parents and encouraged them to send their children to school. Sometimes we also need to work with students to bring them at school”
“Students and guardians do not pay much heed to education. However, we are trying to motivate them to attend schools regularly,” he said.
Not only that, teachers also take special care to weak students who can not pace with others.
There is monthly meeting for the parents to tell their children progress. The parents are mostly worked as day labour, rickshaw puller and karchupi work on clothes.
According to the information of World Bank, in 2012, 83% of ROSC students passed the national grade 5 examinations, setting themselves on the road to progress to secondary level education.
It also said, 80% of all ROSC school teachers are women and close to 90% of all school management committee heads were women as well, which helps Bangladesh ensuring sustainable woman empowerment.