With boats being the only means of transport during the monsoon season, academic life of primary level students at the haor-surrounded Dharmapasha upazila of Sunamganj is severely being hampered for around six months a year, according to many primary level teachers of the area.
Students are unable to attend schools during the period of June to November, due to the non-availability of necessary transportation which allows them to reach their respective academic institutions.
The statements came at view-exchange meeting arranged by Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) in the capital to give the teachers and its “Strengthening Good Governance in Primary Schools (SGGPS)” project stakeholders an opportunity to share their experiences of working with the poverty-stricken children of the area.
Nazrul Islam, a teacher of Dewla Government Primary High School in Dharmapasha, said: “The attendance of the students exceeds 95% in average during dry season, but the children cannot come to school when water begins to rush in and submerge all the low-lying areas during the monsoon period.”
He also added: “The more organisations like Ahsania Mission will get involved with primary education projects, the better it would be for the advancement of literacy movement in Bangladesh.”
Ahsania Mission undertook SGGPS project for Dharamapasha upazila of Sunamganj and Fulchari upazila of Gaibandha district.
DAM Executive Director Ehsanur Rahman said the pilot project created a momentum within schools in the project area registering a steady increase in student’s enrolment and a sharp decline in dropout level. He said the project has become successful in its goal to sensitise parents about the benefits of sending their children to school by organising mothers’ gathering and courtyard meeting on a regular basis.
While expressing the project’s findings, Roksana Begum, headmaster of Nawabganj Government Primary School of Fulchari upazila, said: “Though we used to call upon mothers to attend gatherings to create awareness, their presence had been scant always. But the DAM’s meetings see a greater percentage of attendance and the meal pack, which is being offered to the attendees after each meeting that can be credited for the success.”
However, Tapan Kumar Das, programme manager of “Gonoshakkhorota Ovijan” attending the function as chief guest admitted the role of the meal pack in amassing guardians, but said it is not only the food that tempts people to be present at meetings, but the efffort of the ones who are tasked to ensure the presence of the parents should not be ignored.