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Education for Bangladesh at the Azad Choudhury Academy

By Ted Trowsdale - Posted on 12 March 2013

Azad Choudhury Academy
Cricket Match at Azad Choudhury Academy
Dancer at Azad Choudhury Academy
Examining the carpenterkit at Azad Choudhury Academy
Teaching sewing skills at Azad Choudhury Academy
Examining the seamstress kit at Azad Choudhury Academy

One of our Rotarians, Monika Badham, has had a long association with the Azad Choudhury Academy in Bangladesh. Monika and Barry Badham recently visited the Academy to find out how it was progressing. Read Monika’s personal account of the adventures and how well things are going at the Academy.

“Our visits to Bangladesh are always exiting; this was just a little more exciting than usual, including having to take a detour due to a murder and having a lift from an ambulance to the airport to get home, but more of that later.

“The important thing is that the school goes from strength to strength, and is recognised as one of, if not the best in the Syhlet district. Excellent exam results, an iconic building, 650 enthusiastic students, a clean and safe environment combined with the dedication of its founder and the backing of Rotary and its members have made this an Academy to be proud of.

“Last year we came back with the idea of setting up a workshop to teach carpentry and dressmaking. This would be a new venture in Bangladesh giving those children who don’t go on to further education an opportunity to learn a skill which would allow them the opportunity to earn some money when leaving the ACA. With the help of Rotary and Trade Aid UK, from the first of March this year, classes will start in Carpentry and Dressmaking. The ACA is the only school in Bangladesh with this initiative. We hope with the continued help of Trade Aid UK to look at the possibility of in the future expanding this to, Building, Motor Mechanics and Electricians lessons.

“This year we were also entertained by the children with dance song and drama and were amazed at the talent on show, we also witnessed a cricket tournament between the schools four houses.

“Due to elections next year there is presently some political unrest and on two occasions a day’s general strike was called by the opposing party, this means no vehicles on the road between sunrise and sunset. This meant setting off for the school at 5.00am and not leaving until six, otherwise your vehicle is likely to be stoned by party activists. We decided to leave earlier and were caught up in an incident which meant taking a detour of four kilometers, which due to the roads or lack of them, took us two hours. We found out later the incident was a murder.

“Unfortunately the opposition also decided to call a strike on the day we were leaving so we called a Doctor friend (Monzurul Choudhury, past Rotary District Governor) who arranged for an ambulance to take us to the Airport.

“The Teachers, Parents and children, pass on their thanks to Rotary, for their valued help in this project.”

Monika Badham

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