A large number of the rural population still remains illiterate. Simultaneously, a big percentage of children enroled in primary schools are dependent on private tuitions, thereby leading to significant financial burden on poor families. Taking a step ahead, the organisation has tried to address the issue through its Education Programme.
This programme encourages underprivileged children of 4 to 6+ years age to begin and sustain academics amidst a congenial environment. A unique, low-cost, innovative model has been adopted to ensure that the not-so-privileged children are able to receive quality education. Education centres have been set up in rural areas. It aims to reach out to the non-school-going, irregular, and dropout children, from economically constrained families, with special focus on the girl child.
These free non-formal primary schools known as Bandhan Education Centres provide complimentary school kits and focus on classroom learning, attendance, and extra-curricular activities. These centres provide underprivileged children the opportunity to study and practise cultural activities, giving them a chance to build a strong foundation for themselves. 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 of children range from songs, dances, recitation, short plays – either in solo or in groups. Annual sport events are also arranged to encourage the children to participate in activities other than studies. The local authorities, elites of the village, community members and parents are cordially invited to grace 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 talents in their respective areas of creativity. The schools also celebrate important occasions like Independence Day, Teachers’ Day, World Environment Day and conducts sit-and-draw competitions and the like – 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 schools are dedicated to offer quality primary education to the children in low-income communities.
Bandhan-Konnagar has adopted a unique process of educating children:
The programme is in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all).