Access to quality education lies at the heart of all development. Despite huge possibilities and adequate human resources, Bangladesh still faces huge challenges in its education sector. In Bangladesh, the literacy rate has increased over years yet the country is lagging behind in providing quality education to its mass people. Poor quality of education at primary schools due to lack of qualified teachers and poor school facilities in Hard to Reach Areas (HtRAs) are creating problems to provide quality education. Presently, one in every five of the 6-15 years old children is out of school and nearly 30% of the enrolled children leave school before completing the full course of primary education.
According to the Directorate of Primary Education (DPE), Bangladesh has one of the largest primary education systems in the world. DPE figures also show that at present, a total of 6,300 primary schools around the country do not have a headmaster. The minimum international standard for teacher- student ratio is 30: 1 but in Bangladesh it is 53:1 students. The situation of primary education access differs between cities and in the hard to reach areas (HtRAs) of Bangladesh. Particularly, subject specific teachers like English Language, Math and Science are highly in demand.
To provide quality education, JAAGO came up with the idea of starting online classes with quality teachers based in the capital city Dhaka to provide quality education to the underprivileged and hard to reach children through innovative use of ICT by overcoming geographical distance.
JAAGO first introduced the solution of reaching hard to reach children using ICT technology in the education sector of Bangladesh in 2011. At the moment, JAAGO is providing free of cost quality education to 3500 children through 9 online and 3 regular schools in 5 divisions of the country. JAAGO’s Digital Schooling program started as a pilot project through a trial partnership with Grameen Phone Limited (Telenor) and Agni Systems Limited. Additionally, JAAGO is also teaching English Language through distance education program to 9,000 children in Moheshkhali Island with 10 (GoB) primary schools funded by International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Korean Telecom. Moreover, Furthermore, JAAGO developed 1 online course including 13 videos for teacher training on classrooms management techniques in Muktopath (an open and free e-Learning platform) free of cost with a2i (Access to Information) which is highly used and appreciated by teachers. Currently more course contents are under development.
As the parents of the students did not have the awareness of the importance of education, JAAGO faced the challenge of student dropouts. JAAGO introduced The Sewing Center project to help students’ mothers and sisters earn money to reduce financial burden. JAAGO also introduced three supporting projects for Education Program, namely, Healthy Living, Call for Hygiene, and First Aid Center to meet the students’ needs of nutrition and provide them better medical service. These programs have been successful to ensure students’ regular presence in schools and encourage their family members to maintain hygienic living. This program has brought positive changes in the mindset of parents and other people in rural areas hence they foresee a better future of their children in JAAGO schools.
JAAGO has achieved multiple international recognitions, especially for Digital Schooling Model.
With adequate resources and opportunities JAAGO will be able to facilitate organization’s dream of creating interactive and joyful learning opportunities for the underprivileged children of the country. This opportunity will be able to connect the JAAGO school children with children of other countries and enable them to learn about cross cultural issues.
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