Second-grader Afsana Ariya dreams of opening her own business when she grows up, where she can sell healthy food products and become financially independent.
Afsana, daughter of a domestic help, got a taste of that experience yesterday, selling snacks and yogurt at a fair at her school. Teach For Bangladesh (TFB) organised the event at Gawair Nobin Government Primary School premises in Dakkhin Khan, aiming to spark the spirit of entrepreneurship among children.
“This is my first time selling food to my schoolmates. My seniors are buying products from my stall and my friends are helping me out,” a happy Afsana told this correspondent, between attending to customers.
Her mother Rubina Begum stood proudly by her side. “My daughter is a good student, and such activity is giving her a practical experience.”
A total of 120 students divided into 22 groups of the school’s second grade participated at the festival, part of a project under TFB.
Most students of the school are underprivileged children. Their parents work as rickshaw pullers, masons or house helps.
Bags, handicraft, cakes and snacks were on tables for sale while other students of the school crowded. Price of the products varied from Tk 10 to 50.
Farzana Rahman Biva and Nadia Afrin Bintu, fellows of TFB who teach at the school, facilitated the project and helped children generate ideas.
Speaking about the initiative, Bintu said, “The children came up with their own business ideas; this activity will help them grow confidence and is also a learning opportunity.”
Reiterating her, Biva said, “We provided Tk 200 to 500 to each group, and trained them on how to produce their goods according to their interests. We have made selling saplings mandatory at each stall, to raise awareness about importance of tree plantation.”
Head teacher of the school Umme Kulsum Munni said, “TFB collaborated with our school in 2016, when there were 650 students and only five teachers. But now we have a total of 11 teachers. Of them, four are TFB teachers and another one is a guest teacher.”
TFB, a part of the international initiative Teach for All, is working to expand education opportunities for all. As part of that vision, TFB fellows have been teaching at different schools where there is a shortage of teachers and resources.