|Kajoli -Education Model -- Act to mobilize community around pre school education |
education through Kindergarten or other means for children from
families has flourished in Bangladesh since independence. But for the
vast majority of children from disadvantaged families in the country,
pre-school level education has been rare till recently.
the situation, Research Initiatives, Bangladesh (RIB) undertook to
a research project aimed at the development of a pre-school model for
children from disadvantaged families which would cost very little to
implement and would be sustained through community support alone. The
action research for this purpose which began in 2003 resulted in the
evolution of an innovative pre-school model which came to be known as
Kajoli Model for Early-Childhood Learning.
What has worked
features of the model include:
- Establishment of
pre-school centers by members of local communities who offer space for
the Center or, where such space is not readily available, to construct
tin-shed rooms through financial, labour and material contribution
the community. Each Center caters for 26 children, plus/minus 5 years
old, who would spend a year at the Center and then move on to the
- Identification by
the local community of a local girl/woman with junior to secondary
education who serves as the teacher for the Center and whose
of Tk.500 per month partly comes from the parents of the children and
partly from the local community, though not all the centers are able
to raise the amount.
- Each mother of the
children takes turn once a month to provide midday meals (cooked rice
& pulses, called Khichuri) to the children so that they are
fed everyday of the school month:
- The curriculum is
based on “fun and game” approach to learning. No books, paper or
pencil are used. A specially designed pocket board with pocket cards
and blackboards take their place.
- RIB offers teachers’
training and provides educational materials, including the pocket
pocket cards and black boards. It also organises periodic coordination
meetings and educational fairs of the teachers. RIB staff serves as
a link between centers and helps establish other centers based on
that come from members of local communities from all over the
How you can Act?
of the requirements for the running of the centers, whose number
stands at more than 100 throughout the country with more requests coming
in regularly, are met by the local communities themselves, many problems
have been identified over the years. They may be described as follows:
- The single-most
important problem witnessed so far is arranging for the honorarium of
the teacher. While half of the honorarium of Tk 500 is raised through
contribution of the parents, raising the other half has remained
at most centers.
- In areas where no
space is available to hold the center, the cost of building a
room, which cost between Tk. 8000 and 10,000, can only be met through
contribution from local philanthropists or the community at large.
- A toilet and a tube-well
which has been found useful for a center can only be made available
through support from outside.
So far RIB,
in keeping with its original objective of promoting volunteerism and
collective self-help, has refrained from seeking external fund to help
the centers. It believes, on basis of experience in Bangladesh, that
such help is more likely than not to affect sustainability of the
However in view of the difficulties experienced by the centers, RIB
has decided to promote the association of individuals, groups and
both within and outside the country, with these centers with a view
to seek their participation, financially or otherwise, in the affairs
of the centers. It has been seen through experience that a one-time
contribution of Tk 25000, kept in a fixed deposit account, can provide
for half the monthly remuneration of the teachers almost indefinitely.
Individuals, families and groups could thus adopt one or more centers
and/or support other activities such as: construction of center premises
and toilets, sinking of tube-wells, winter clothing for the children
and the overall management of the centers. With the above
in view, Drishtipat is partnering with RIB to sponsor such centers to raise funds
in support of the Kajoli Pre-school movement for children from
families in Bangladesh. Donate any amount you chose. A $4 donation pays for one month's salary of a teacher.