About 86 ICT-based schools situated in islands (char) in the Jamuna river under Gaibandha and Kurigram districts have achieved 100 percent pass rates in secondary and higher secondary examinations in 2017 with excellent grades.
“Friendship”, a non-government organisation, is running the schools where teachers from Dhaka, using information communication technology-based facilities, teach the poor students.
Teachers record their lectures in compact discs (CD) and send those to the schools where facilitators play it on a large screen using laptops.
In addition, as the areas are under a constant threat from river erosion, the structures of the schools have been built in such a way that those can be dismantled and shifted elsewhere, if needed.
This year, 56 students attended the Junior School Certificate (JSC) exams from the Friendship-run schools and 98.2 percent of them got “A” and “A-” grades.
Also, all the students have passed the Primary Education Certificate (PEC) exams while the national pass rate is 95.18 percent.
Runa Khan, founder and executive director of the organisation, in a media session at The Daily Star Centre shared their success before the media yesterday.
“Today, I have come on this stage with a lot of excitement as students of our schools have done such a remarkable job,” said Runa.
“During the early days of the schools, we were worried that who would be interested to teach the students there as it takes around four to five hours to go to the islands from mainland,” she said.
Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for ICT, said none can achieve success in the education and health care system without using ICT. “Friendship has added a new dimension to education and it has become a role model,” said Palak.
The state minister also promised to facilitate the Friendship-run secondary schools by establishing digital laboratories.
Currently 4,686 students are enrolled in Friendship's 79 primary schools and 244 in its seven secondary schools. This year, the number of students in PEC exam increased to 543 from 375. Of them, 260 are from Gaibandha, 126 from Kurigram and 157 from Chilmari.
Prof Syeda Tahmina Akhter, director of institute of education and research at Dhaka University, and Ayesha Taasin Khan, director and head of good governance and education at Friendship, also spoke.
Three students and one facilitator also shared their experiences at the event.