Bandarban children see a ray of light | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 20, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

Bandarban children see a ray of light

Bandarban children see a ray of light

Online school uses the power of internet to deliver education

Brigadier General Nakib Ahmed Chowdhury, chief of Bandarban Cantonment; Mahmud Hossain, chief of corporate affairs at Grameenphone; Marcus Adaktusson, head of communications at GP; Bohmongree U Chaw Prue Choudhury, king of Bohmong Circle of Bandarban; and Devdas Bhattacharya, superintendent of Bandarban police; attend the inauguration ceremony of an online school at Bandarban on Sunday.  Photo: Gp
Brigadier General Nakib Ahmed Chowdhury, chief of Bandarban Cantonment; Mahmud Hossain, chief of corporate affairs at Grameenphone; Marcus Adaktusson, head of communications at GP; Bohmongree U Chaw Prue Choudhury, king of Bohmong Circle of Bandarban; and Devdas Bhattacharya, superintendent of Bandarban police; attend the inauguration ceremony of an online school at Bandarban on Sunday. Photo: Gp

An online school has been established in Bandarban in an effort to reduce the gap between urban and rural education systems, using the internet.
In an online school, the teacher instructs students in a class from a distant location using video conferencing technology with the aid of moderators in the actual class.
These moderators, who are from the local community, have no teaching background but can help the teacher in operations.
The online school will ensure quality education for underprivileged children in Bandarban, said Brigadier General Nakib Ahmed Chowdhury, chief of Bandarban Cantonment.
He was speaking at the inauguration of Bandarban Online School as chief guest on Sunday.
“I hope the teachers of this school will instil a sense of social responsibility in the students to be a good citizen of the country.”
The school was founded by Jaago Foundation in association with Grameenphone and Agni Systems Ltd.
Jaago Foundation, a non-profit civil society organisation, is responsible for providing ground services and designing a curriculum for all the classes.
Grameenphone is providing financial support and a backdrop for internet connectivity for the initiative; Agni Systems will build network connections for the schools free of cost.
Located on top of a hill in Reicha union of Bandarban, the English-medium school is at the centre of Dathbhanga Para, Kana Para, Dulujhiri Para and Meghla Para, with 45 students between the ages of one and six years.
“We are happy as we don't have to bear the expenses for an education for our children and they don't have to commute far from the village either,” said Dulupoti Tonchongga, a mother of two living in Meghla Para.
Her four-year boy Sajib Tonchongga has been admitted to the online school. For Dulupoti, this is a dream come true as she is an inhabitant in a remote village in the hills where education seems to be a luxury.
Shudanonda Tonchongga, local coordinator of the school, said: “A total of 40 children have enrolled and most are from the Tonchongga and Bhomong communities.”
Some Bengali children are also studying here, she added.
Melori Bom, a five-year-old student of the school, who does not speak Bangla well, said with the help of Shudanonda, “Now I'm happy I can attend school as it is near my village.”
It is our vision to empower society through modern education, said Mahmud Hossain, chief of corporate affairs at Grameenphone.
“There exists a gap between the urban and rural education systems. Besides, indigenous children have no access to the internet. The school is our effort to provide the indigenous children here with an access to the internet.”
The 3G network has given them the opportunity to enjoy internet services, he added.
Marcus Adaktusson, head of communications at Grameenphone, said: “We want to make everyone aware that the internet is a good thing.”
“Our ambition of internet for all can become a reality in Bangladesh.”
“I am honoured that they have chosen our area to establish the school. It will give our children access to modern education and other facilities,” said Bohmongree U Chaw Prue Choudhury, king of Bohmong Circle of Bandarban.
Debdas Vottachajay, superintendent of Bandarban police, termed the school a new concept in Bangladesh.
“We have established eight schools; five are online and three offline,” said Korvi Rakshand, chairman of Jaago Foundation.
“We will establish 64 schools in 64 districts.”  

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