Volunteers Association for Banglades
The Volunteers Association for Bangladesh (VAB, pronounced VaaB – meaning “idea” or “feeling” in Bengali) aims at empowering poor children of rural Bangladesh to have a brighter future. VAB helps them gain quality high school education and vocational skills training.
Since its establishment in 1998, VAB has helped more than 300,000 young men and women and their families in rural areas of Bangladesh. VAB’s mission is now moving forward with greater strength and higher hopes.
Cooperation between UNDP and VAB
Cooperation between UNDP and VAB
in e-learning by students of rural schools of Bangladesh
According to a recently signed “Statement of Intent”, operational for six months starting on November 1, UNDP Bangladesh and the Volunteers Association for Bangladesh (VAB) will cooperate on an e-learning pilot project which aims to enhance access to education of 191 SSC (2021 and 2022) candidates with assistance from 22 teachers in 9 schools located in Satkhira, Kurigram, Nilphamary, Pabna, and Jashore. e-Learning by students of rural schools is a “first” for Bangladesh. The cooperative project is expected to achieve progressively greater technology diffusion in rural areas which will contribute to supplying digital skills as Bangladesh enters the 4IR era.
VAB Introduces e-Learning in Rural High Schools
A “first” for Bangladesh in the use of a screening app in tablets for students
Online education has been gaining grounds all around the world, essentially because of convenience and cost-effectiveness. The pandemic, imposing its ravages on on-site in-person schooling, generated a boost for online education. However, online education is dependent on the availability of ICT infrastructure, hardware and software, which are expensive and thus, invariably place developing countries among the community of nations, and resource-poor segments of population within each country in a highly disadvantaged position. The impact of the pandemic on education in Bangladesh has been an alarming “education deficit”, and in the underprivileged rural sector, a deficit of a disastrous proportion.
The Volunteers Association for Bangladesh (VAB), devoted solely to rural education since 2000, is deeply concerned about the “education/learning deficit” in rural schools. At the same time, VAB's humanitarian values spur its conscience to act to alleviate the suffering of the poor families of its rural students. There is pervasive hunger, and an alarming lack of medicine and oxygen. The stark realities of education deficit and sufferings from hunger and disease have prompted VAB to develop an Emergency Covid Assistance Program. A Global Fundraising Campaign enabled VAB to mobilize resources for the Program. For an Education NGO like VAB, the centerpiece of the Program is intended to combat education deficit – e-Learning assistance to be provided to SSC candidates, both for exams of 2021 and 2022, from the poorest families, on the two specialized groups in each stream –Science and Business Studies – on which the Government plans to hold exams.
On October 1, VAB initiated its e-Learning Project at a pilot level starting with 9 schools from 5 districts, Jashore, Satkhira, Kurigram, Nilphamari and Pabna. In all, 186 SSC candidates in Science and 5 candidates in Business Studies are e-learning through the use of tablets. Whenever practicable, a single tablet has been shared by multiple users so that so far, only 99 tablets, provided by VAB to students and teachers, could serve the purpose. One distinguishing feature of the tablets, and a first for Bangladesh, is a built-in app which prevents students from the “undesirable” use of the Internet. The developer of the app, BacBon Ltd. of Bangladesh. In the case of each of the 9 schools, the distribution of the tablets was made in a modest ceremony attended by local governmental and non-governmental dignitaries, the Headmaster, SMC members and Teachers.VAB is also implementing a Monitoring and Evaluation System which tracks hours spent by students on videos, scripts and tests related to the learning contents. As of October 12, the total hours spent by students in e-learning in 12 days are 2,150 hours.
VAB Staff, who have been fondly named as “The VAB Team” in recognition of their services to education and Covid relief, are grateful to VAB leadership in Bangladesh and the U.S.A., particularly the Chairman, VAB Bangladesh Board of Advisors, Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman, IT developer BacBon, Patrons whose generous donation made VAB’s Emergency Covid Assistance Program a reality, Headmasters, SMC Members, Teachers, local dignitaries and governmental and non-governmental officials for the inauguration and implementation of VAB’s E-Learning Project. Above all, VAB is inspired by the rural students themselves whose devotion to learning, in whatever system, is exemplary for students in the whole country.
Lifetime Achievement Award
VAB’s Founder and President Dr. A T Rafiqur Rahman Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
It is with great honor and pride that we announce that Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, has just presented A T Rafiqur Rahman, PhD, with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, for his “achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field”.
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