Due to the severe poverty faced by the camp residents, most of them are unable to continue their education after a certain level as their resources are extremely restricted. OBAT recognizes that education is the key to defeating their destitution and is currently providing scholarships to approximately seven hundred students, studying in anywhere from grade six to post-graduate level. The students receiving the scholarships are dispersed in four cities: Khulna, Dhaka, Chittagong and Rangpur. This program is one of the most essential offered by OBAT due to its potential for creating the change it aims to bring about in the camps- to empower the residents so they can hold the reigns of their future in their own hands.
The scholarship students are extremely hard working and determined and give us many proud moments as we continue to receive word of their achievements more and more frequently. Abul Kashem has been one such trailblazer. By becoming the first student from the camps to be accepted to a medical school, he has opened up a world of possibilities for other students. He has demonstrated to them that anything is within reach with perseverance. Kashem is among the five students from Rangpur who are also working for various educational projects of OBAT in the city while finishing up their undergraduate degrees. Rangpur has the highest number of scholarship students- four hundred and thirty-four. These students are on their way to becoming lawyers and nurses, among other professions. Many of them are currently high school students who are eager to gain admission into a professional college.
At present, three of our scholarship students from Chittagong are also working for OBAT primary School as part-time instructors as they complete their undergraduate degrees at various universities in the area. Chittagong has the second highest number of scholarship students, one hundred and ten.
Due to the larger population in Dhaka, many more students are eligible for a scholarship but limitation in funding is a hindering factor. It is very difficult to get admitted into government colleges or into public universities in Bangladesh-seats are very limited. Only half of the students who receive an A+ get admitted into a government college. Out of these, about 45% of the seats are reserved for the quota system. In order to be completely prepared for the admission test, the students need to study in expensive coaching centers. Despite these factors, three students from the camps were able to get into government universities and eight students got admitted into government colleges. Priority in the scholarship program is always given to getting admission into a government institution; private universities are applied to if admission cannot be gained into a government run university.
If you are interested in brightening up the future of a student, please reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about how you can support a student’s education.