We visited the school of three classes in Adabor, a ten minute rickshaw ride away from the office. This was the second shift, for children between the ages of six to ten. There are plans to instate a class 5, making it three shifts. This is the stage when children are now put through a state exam – which could be a spring- board for them to a better school – or even to be used by prospective employers apparently. I did enquire if any children were employed. Only one it appeared – as a domestic servant.
The noise of each class carries easily through the ‘open plan’ cramped building, but the children seemed keen to learn. They recited poems in Bangla and English – including ‘1-2 Buckle My Shoe’. They happily sang the national anthem – Amar Sonar Bangla – ‘My Golden Bengal’, as well as ‘Amra Sobai Raja’ – ‘We are all Kings’. For children from the poorest communities, how poignant is that? I was also treated to a display of dancing by a few girls in the cramped space, accompanied by music from a mobile phone.
Back in the office we were joined for a quick lunch by Rezia Salam, the Vice Chair on the Board of Directors.