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10 December, 2018 00:00 00 AM

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Functional education for slum children

Functional education for slum children

Youth leaders and development workers have unanimously underlined the need for proper education for slum children so that they can break away from the cycle of poverty, develop skills and improve their social conditions. Since the 80s, several NGOs have been working in urban shanty towns and while this steadfast initiative has given basic education to a large number of people, the staggering drop-out rates due to pressure to enter employment have seen many failing to cross the secondary school exams.

To look at the positive side, the free schools run by development bodies impart fundamental numeracy and literacy skills, giving millions the ability to read and write.

However, if some special skills are taught on the side with emphasis on IT, English and, mathematics, a teenager in a slum will have the capacity to move to employment with possibilities of social and economic advancement. Also, with a strong foundation in English and IT, teenagers from underprivileged backgrounds can grow up and seek lucrative jobs overseas. As the world becomes more competitive, blue collar jobs demand adequate language and IT knowledge. Therefore, the focus should not be on traditional education only.

The reason why drop-out rates are high is because these institutions do not possess computers or other modern teaching equipment. Unless these are provided, sustaining students’ interest will be difficult. A prudent move will be to engage multinational plus local business conglomerates to sponsor computers for such schools which will also advertise their respective products and services. This would ensure both advertisement plus crucial social work.

Currently, many voluntary footpath schools are in operation, where young men, driven by a sense of social responsibility, impart education free of cost. With some support, their work can become more professional, providing much needed encouragement to self-effacing philanthropists. For this, development institutions, especially foreign ones, need to come out of their bureaucracy riddled, convoluted processes and directly create a channel through which such noble efforts can be assisted.

The problem with most development campaigns is that they deliberately do not want to adopt a process which will provide instant results. Unless this dilatory system is overturned, education for slum children will be locked in a sluggish, eventually unproductive, system.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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