About Open Sky School
Ekmattra adopts action based activities that are based on field oriented research and participatory in nature. On that account, Open Sky School (OSS) is aimed to teach the local disadvantageous children of the street on basic living skills through a very basic level of pre-primary informal education, civic and cultural learning. Through this program, Ekmattra aims to support the most vulnerable children (MVC) who are mainly parentless (or whose parents are in dangerous occupations), homeless, shelter less, ill-fed, ill-clothed and devoid of parental care. Having no shelter, food, education, healthcare, social security and parental care, they are compelled to be involved in unsafe works for their mere survival.
These vulnerable occupations include the job of garbage collector, street market vendor, porter, begging and other hazardous works. Living in such conditions, these children can’t afford to go to school. Ekmattra aims to reach out to them with a mobile school, which will not only provide education but also other necessary supports (e.g. healthcare, safety and life-skills etc.) for the children to graduate from their existing vulnerable situation.
The current OSS classes are also composed of dropout children in addition to these underprivileged ones who have never been to schools. Each student is given individual attention while keeping the child’s strength-weakness and knowledge profile in mind. Currently, classes are held two days every week in Thursdays and Sundays. It is planned to increase the number of classes to 5 days a week with the active support of local youth volunteers. In addition to the youth, local community members including parents, children’s employers, members of the local government authorities etc. are included in the process to support the children.
- Profiling of the children
- Close observation of the underprivileged children in the Dhaka city & prepare reports on the status of the children on the street
- Bring the most vulnerable children to Ekmattra’s Shelter Home in Mirpur and recommend children to other similar institutions
- Curriculum & module design for the OSS
- Introduce a mobile vehicle for OSS which will reach to the underprivileged children of Dhaka City with multiple opportunities (Roaming School)
- Art competition: July, 2012; 20 OSS child participated
- Study Tour: Child Study Tour at National Zoo in Dhaka, February, 2013; 30 kids were enjoyed the whole day event.
- Visual presentation: A visual report on OSS Program on ETV, June, 2013; produced by ETV.
- In the last fifteen years, more than one thousand children have enrolled in Ekmattra’s OSS classes in various parts of Dhaka city.
- Presence of Ekmattra’s volunteer in the areas of OSS ensure any emergency rescue of the destitute children from the street.
- The family members and local population in the OSS areas are familiar with Ekmattra’s activities and they are aware about the rights of the children.
- Ekmattra has been able to maintain a network of local volunteers who would provide information about children and cooperate in Ekmattra’s activities.
- Parents of the children and their local guardians actively support Ekmattra’s activities.