Education is a basic human right, which is an essential element for development that requires no explanation. It is considered as the foundation of a society and indispensable for moral development of any individual. Investing in proper education facilities can bring about economic development and social prosperity. Unfortunately, the people of Bangladesh, especially some 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 keeping themselves under 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, significantly helped its beneficiaries.
Considering the importance of education, the Non-Formal Primary Education program 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.
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 up-grading the beneficiaries living status. 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.
Early Childhood Care and Development (ECD) Program:
BEES started the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECD) program by introducing 50 schools in June 1996. Currently BEES has 25 schools under the ECD program. Undoubtedly, the aim of this program is to increase the rate of literacy and impart knowledge on gender inequity 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 center, conduction of training, preparation and collection of course curriculum, regular follow-up and 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.
Although, BEES’s education program was helping its members, but a concern has been raised when it is observed that the children of the beneficiaries were also growing illiterate. Hence, BEES went for a trial run targeting children, especially girls, who were left out from the formal education. BEES designed an inclusive program combining education with nutrition, health and social awareness during pre-school period. BEES started the ECD program to stimulate and create the scope of early learning at the age of 4-6 years of children for creating 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 & numbers and preparing them for conventional primary schooling. It’s mentionable that BEES beliefs on equitable education, all children of different races, gender, ethnicity or of different family background get equal opportunity for getting admission in school. Currently BEES is operating the ECD program in Polashbari & Sadullapur upazila of Gaibandha district, Pirgonj upazila of Rangpur district and Ghoraghat upazila of Dinajpur district.
Primary Education Program:
BEES initiated the primary education program in April 2018. Seven primary schools with 987 students was operating in Sunamganj, Sylhet. Through an intensive discussion with the State Minister of Finance & Planning, Bangladesh and the Local Government, the Executive Director of BEES decided to start three more primary schools in Sunamganj from January 2020 for the underserved community people. But due to pandemic of covid-19, BEES had to move away from that decision.
To ensure quality primary education for the community children
Provide quality education to 1045 children from Class-I to Class V through seven non-government primary schools.