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Exceptional Kajoli Model Centers

While the Kajoli Model for Preschool Learning was developed primarily for community-run initiatives to attract children from the most disadvantaged communities to education and schooling, its “fun and game” approach to learning has attracted other very innovative use of the model. Examples include the following:



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Gurukul Kalpataru encourages, facilitates and empowers underprivileged children and youth of the local community by providing them with a platform for holistic personality and skill development through academic and cultural activities with an active participation of the society.

 
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Research Initiatives, Bangladesh (RIB) has launched the teaching of Chakma Language to pre-school children through PARHA Trust in Khagrachhari as part of the Kajoli Early Childhood Learning Centre. Initially two centres have been initiated in Khagrachhari. One is in Baurapara in Khagrachhari Sadar and the other is in Monatekpara at Mahalchhari.

As learning material a pocket board containing different types of cards, (containing pictures and alphabets), blackboard, story books etc. Learning through fun and games is the main approach of Kajoli. This method was first tested out in the village of Kajoli of Sripur thana of Magura district and hence its name. Children are happy to learn through their mother tongue. It also allays their fear of school.  PARHA Trust a local organization with the help of Shuvasish Chakma who is the author of a book on Chakma grammar has played a lead role in helping to transform and adapt the original Bangla pocketboard into the Chakma language. A group of people are being engaged to work through the different steps of learning the language. We hope that by introducing the Chakma alphabet in the early years of learning, Chakma children will be able to regain the use of their written script which has been going out of practice. The method of teaching introduced will help to make this learning process an enjoyable one for children.

 
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The bedays are boat dwellers and normally have no abode on land. They are popularly known as River Gypsies. All their activities are performed from or on boats. From time immemorial they have plied the rivers of Bangladesh and neighboring India to buy and sell their wares on boats. A description of their lives and activities is contained in the brief summary of a research project supported by RIB.

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A research project supported by RIB on cleaning workers and waste pickers (scavengers) in two large garbage dumps in and around the capital city, Dhaka, had led to the discovery of a large number of very young children who accompany their mothers to their work sites. These children are normally left to play and scavenge on the filth and stench of the dumps. As a follow-up to the project, RIB decided to experiment with the idea of opening a Kajoli Model center for these children in the Matuail Dump Site in Dhaka, which is the largest garbage dumping ground in the country. The Center is presently run by Grambangla Unnayan Committee, referred to above, under the leadership of Mr. A.K.M. Maksud.

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Sadarghat is the largest river port of Bangladesh located on Buriganga river which passes through Dhaka, the capital of the country. Hundreds of launches (steamers) and boats leave from the Sadarghat Terminal for different destinations of the country. As a result there is a concentration of large number of child workers who help passengers to load their luggage on the boats and do other chores to earn a living. The children normally stay in terminal buildings at night under the control of leaders who are dictate almost all aspects of their lives. RIB decided to open a Kajoli Model Center at the Terminal to attract these children to learning and to provide them with at least some basic education.

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