Bandhan Education Programme (BEP) supports children from under-privileged families to pursue education close to their home. Set up primarily in the rural areas, the Bandhan education centres supports children who have not enrolled in primary schools and those who have dropped out of primary schools, by providing 3 hours of coaching per day along with free complimentary school kits. These centres prepare them for admission into classes appropriate to their age in formal schools. Also, they assist children for a period of 3 to 4 years till their skills in reading, writing, comprehension and numeracy are improved to confidently continue education under formal schools.
This programme encourages underprivileged children of 4 to 6 years age to begin and sustain academics amidst a congenial environment. It aims to provide quality education to children, especially the girl child, through a unique, low cost, innovative model. Set up predominantly in the rural areas, the education centres aim to reach out to the non-school-going and dropout children aged 6 years and above, from economically constrained families. These centres provide the children the opportunity to study completely free of cost and gives them a chance to make a strong foundation for themselves.
These free primary schools provide complimentary school kits and focus on classroom learning, attendance, and extra-curricular activities. The children acquire good reading, writing and numerical skills. They learn sports and participate in cultural programmes. These cultural programmes are organised every year at the Annual Day function. The performance by children range from songs, dance, recitation, short plays – either in solo or in groups. Annual Sports Day is also organised to encourage the children to participate in activities beyond academics as well. The local authorities, elites of the village, community members and parents are invited to grace the programme/such events. A big turnout is seen at these events and this serves as a great encouragement to the children. These activities lead to character-building of the child and bring to the forefront their inner talents in their respective areas of creativity. The schools also celebrate important occasions like Independence Day, Teachers’ Day, World Environment Day and holds sit-and-draw competitions and other such activities, on such occasions.
The children enjoy the learning process and most of them excel in their studies by obtaining good grades. The children then are mainstreamed by securing admission in formal schools.
The programme has also set up low-cost formal schools, called Bandhan Academy, that provide holistic development for children, which include academics and extracurricular activities. These formal schools charge a nominal fee and are dedicated to provide quality primary education to the children in low-income communities.
Bandhan-Konnagar has adopted a unique process of educating children: