Seema Khan provides us with a glimpse into the barriers in educating children in Bangladesh and how one organization is trying to change all that. Below is an excerpt; you may find the full story on Give2Asia Forum.
…(W)hile the lower school requirements from the government in Bangladesh are so strikingly different from in the developed world, there are several factors families face that limit their children’s access to education. Many families are just unable to afford school tuition costs beyond the years it is compulsory. The cost of school combined with the fact that going to school prevents their children from working is a financial burden than many families cannot handle.
In remote villages, one major barrier to education is access. Many households do not have a school within several miles of them, and often when they are available, they lack necessary facilities that make attendance viable – including transportation, bathrooms, etc. In urban areas, access to education is generally less of an issue, but the living conditions of many poor families, most notably in the slums, is often not conducive to learning and growth. Many homes are overcrowded, provide only basic shelter from harsh weather, such as heavy rainfall, and are subject to frequent power outages. Also, schools in these areas often face similar problems with overcrowding and poor environments.
There are several organizations committed to the improvement of education in Bangladesh. One organization, Volunteers Association for Bangladesh (VAB), promotes education in a variety of ways. With the money it has raised, it has funded teacher training, high school and college scholarships to underprivileged, rural students, various school supplies including science equipment, library books, sports equipment, and computers, and many other projects. Their goal, to support cognitive learning, school improvement, computer literacy, and vocational training is broken down into manageable dollar amounts that cater to each donor’s ability to give. The options include gifts of $150 that provide one student a college scholarship for a year, $3,000 that could furnish a science laboratory, and as much as $8,000, which would buy science equipment, library books, and four computers for the general improvement for a school.