Education is a basic human right, which is an essential element for development that requires no introduction. It is considered as the foundation of a society and indispensable for moral development of any individual. Investing in proper education faculties can bring economic wealth and social prosperity.
However, unfortunately the people of Bangladesh, especially from the rural areas are still suffering from the curse of illiteracy and ignorance. Very often it is their lack of education that holds them back from social and economic progress and getting themselves away from the poverty line. BEES believes that if people progress on the educational ladder, the economic and political stability of the society can be restored. Therefore, initially it has started executing functional education program since 1984 to its group members in response to the need of target groups in working areas. Learning crucial life skills such as the ability to read, write or calculate, greatly helped its beneficiaries. Considering the importance of education, the Non-Formal Primary Education programme was pioneered in 1996. Since then, BEES continued to emphasize on providing education oriented services to underprivileged children deprived of the formal schooling system. Every year, it leads through major progress in its education initiatives. BEES has been maintaining liaison and linkages with other NGOs and GOs to implement more education programs successfully for a long tear progress headway.
Early Childhood Care and Development (ECD)
BEES gained some experience from an education program based on the model of the adult functional education program of BRAC in 1984. Later, BEES has continued the education program by introducing 50 schools from June, 1996. BEES is firm to continue its education program in its strategic planning. Undoubtedly, the aim of this program is to increase the rate of literacy and impart knowledge on gender equity and human rights. To implement this objective, BEES is committed to execute certain activities such as selection of learner, posting of male and female teachers, workers and managers, establishment of education centres, conduction of training, preparation and collection of course curriculum, regular follow-up, refresher course arrangement and distribution of education materials. The achievements of BEES expect from these activities are: trained workers, members and children from the education courses. Education has been a very important program to BEES that, it is embodied in the name of the organization.
The education program is basically to enable its beneficiaries at least to be literate and numerate to the basic level. The objective of this program is not only to provide the people with basic literacy and numeracy skills, but also to help people to learn and practice reading and writing in a manner that can be meaningful, practical and significant to upgrading the living status of beneficiaries. The education program has been brought out on the realization that literacy and numeracy are direct causes and consequences of deprivation, unemployment and exploitative social structure, therefore basic education widens the horizon of people’s experiences, increases their earning capabilities, liberates them from superstitions and promotes self-esteem and confidence on their ability.
Although, BEES’s education programs were helping its members, but a concern was raised when it has observed that the children of the beneficiaries were also growing up as illiterate. Thus, BEES went for a trial run targeting children, especially girls, who were left out from the formal education. Over the years, it has grown much as per demand. Nonetheless, according to a 2004 survey, nearly 1.5 million primary school-aged children were out of education in Bangladesh, though ‘Early childhood’ is considered as the prime time for brain development of the children. Therefore, BEES designed an inclusive program combining education with nutrition, health and social awareness during pre-school period.
The Early Childhood Care and Development initiated by BEES has the major objectives to stimulate and create the scope of early learning at the age of 4-6 years of children to create self-interest among them for schooling. BEES intends to continue extending such pre-school program gradually in the more remote and destabilized areas affected by extreme poverty and natural disasters. The teaching materials for the early childhood care development project are chosen to familiarize children with letters and numbers and preparing them for conventional primary schooling.
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