Dreams they can dream | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 27, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 27, 2012

Dreams they can dream

Poor children of Ctg get vocational training


Children, all from underprivileged families, are engrossed in practicing electrical work at the non-government organisation Caritas in Chittagong on Wednesday. Photo: Prabir Das

Rumi Akhter Rina, 12, is in class six at Prime Cadet School and College in Chittagong. She dreams of becoming an electrical engineer.
Being a daughter of a day labourer, she however never believed it would be possible for her to pursue an engineering degree.
But an opportunity to take part in a six-month vocational training programme gave her hope.
She took training in electrical and house wiring at a training centre of Caritas Bangladesh in Bahaddarhat area of Chittagong city.
After undergoing the training for six months, she can now install calling bells, single phase motor connections, tube lights, electric fans and so on, Rina said.
Under a project titled "Vocational Skill Training for Urban Working Children in Bangladesh", Caritas -- a non-government development organisation -- is providing the vocational training to underprivileged children in Chittagong. The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (Unicef) is funding the project.
In Rina's batch, 164 trainees, all from underprivileged families, took training at the centre in four categories: tailoring and dress making, hand embroidery, electrical and house wiring, and motorcycle repairing and maintenance.
Most of them are also getting regular education at different institutions.
During the training all trainees get Tk 50 a day allowance.
Borhan Uddin, an orphan, took training in electrical and house wiring, he is also a student of class six at Rahmania High School.
He said, "I want to be an engineer," adding that he is taking the training in the morning shift as he has to attend classes in his regular school in the afternoon shift.
James Gomes, Caritas's regional director in Chittagong, said they provide the vocational skill training to 445 children per batch at three training centres in the city.
"We are running three shifts in the training centres so that general education of the children is not hampered," he said.
"We have skilled instructors at the training centres. We also provided training to the instructors," he said.
Caritas's regional director said they are maintaining a computerised data base about the trainees and providing the training with brand new equipment.
Sixty percent of the trainees are girls, said Ripan Halder, a programme supervisor.
He said trainees of the first batch completed the six-month training course in March this year. The second batch started taking the classes this month, he added.
Tarin Akhter, an instructor for hand embroidery, said they first familiarise the students with training equipment and their uses.
The courses are designed with twenty percent theory, she said.
The students are taught theory before practical training, said Tarin adding that lessons about safety measures are also given in the training sessions.
Abul Kalam Azad, a technical officer of Caritas, said the instructors are always present during the practical training sessions as a part of safety measures.
Some of the trainees however dropped out for several reasons, he said adding that some of them left Chittagong with their parents while some others got engaged in jobs without completing the training.

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