Dr. Anwar Ali Primary School was established in 1981 at Dhakkhin Khan, Dhirasram, Gazipur Sadar, Gazipur. It has been named after the late father of the current Honorable Minister for Liberation War Affairs, Mr. AZM Mozammel Haque. This Government funded co-ed school provides schooling from Kinder-garden to Class 5. The school is located on 1 acre of land and includes two one storied buildings with 4 and 5 rooms each. Presently there are 239 students attending in two shifts. At this moment, the teaching staff comprises of the Headmaster (male) and 3 teachers (2 female). There is also a female para-teacher for the Kinder-garden section. The table below provides an overview of the students:

Class Morning Shift
(9:00 am – 12:00 pm)
Afternoon Shift
(12:15pm – 4:15 pm)
  Girls Boys Total Girls Boys Total Girls Boys Total
Kinder Garden 12 27 39 - - - 12 27 39
Class 1 22 32 54 - - - 22 32 54
Class2 16 19 35 - - - 16 19 35
Class 3 - - - 19 25 44 19 25 44
Class 4 -   - 27 12 39 27 12 39
Class 5 - - - 13 15 28 13 15 28
TOTAL 50 78 128 59 52 111 109 130 239

The qualities of the existing teachers have to be developed. Being in close proximity to the capital city, this school can be upgraded and quality education provided thus laying a strong foundation for the school going children as well as the community. Due to various shortfalls consistent with a developing country, the school is not harnessing a positive learning environment and there are many issues which need immediate remedies.

Mark Wear Limited (MWL) started its operations in August 2012 at 136/9 Dhakin Khan, Dhirasram, Gazipur Sadar, Gazipur. The factory property of 3.2 acres has a two storied building with 60,000 sq ft of work space and a pond holding up to 400,000 litres of water which can be used in case of emergency (together with a separate pump house). The prayer & dining halls, rooms for doctors, day care, utilities, time section, and guards are also located in the premises. The factory has its own well manned workshop as well. Since our inception we have always regarded our social obligation as a necessity and as a part of our continuous efforts to develop the local community, we have undertaken a project to restore and upgrade Dr. Anwar Ali Primary School (DAAPS) with the help of Government officials and the local community.

Initially, we contacted the School Management Committee (SMC) and their requests were taken into consideration. Based on their recommended urgency, various initiatives were undertaken which included development of the landscape/playground and fencing the school property, renovate the school building along with all wirings and paint, build separate toilets for girls and boys, ensure supply of safe drinking water, refurbish and provide furniture, etc. These works were all supervised by the local people. Sports equipments were also provided as part of the children’s extracurricular activities.

The following breakdown illustrates the contributions till the end of December 2014:
Sl. Description of Expenses Amount (BDT)
1. Landscaping & Fencing 552,384
2. Building renovation 494,199
3. Furniture 39,865
4. Wiring & Electrical Goods 120,544
5. Stationeries 52,323
6. Sports equipments 207,666
7. Remuneration* 794,500
8. Miscellaneous 60,610
9. Computer 154,400
Grand Total

*Note: Includes salaries of Consultants, Teachers, Cleaners & Security

Being well aware of physical activities and the importance of staying healthy, a Physical Training (PT) teacher has been recruited. To keep the school premises clean and hygienic, three (3) cleaners were also hired and for safe guarding the school a night guard has been hired. Monthly remuneration of these five (5) individuals are borne by us, together with added salaries for the teachers. The Annual Sports day was recently held which was attended by Gazipur Zila Primary Education Commissioner Mr. Mofazzel Hossain and other dignitaries. The local community is happy with all the new initiatives and recent developments in the school, but we feel there is much more to be done.

We hope that the recent development of the school will not only benefit the local communities but also our employees as well. Since 80% of our workers are from this locality, they can avail schooling facilities for their children and can be quickly reached, should any emergency arise. We believe it is our moral obligation to work for the disadvantaged population and we are willing to take this school into a complete new level and excel in providing quality education.

We are expecting a challenging 2015 due to the increased number of students, and their accommodation, as well as upgrading to a “Secondary” school. Number of teachers also needs to be increased for better dissemination of knowledge. Recruitment of teachers has to be done through the official process so, even if we want to, we cannot provide full time teachers. This is a big challenge. At the same time, providing computer literacy would be a new initiation and we hope everyone would benefit from it.

As well as providing new shoes to all students in January 2015, we would also provide exercise books every two months. We are also collecting various general knowledge books for a proposed library. We are getting a lot of positive responses in our joint efforts in upgrading this school.

Proposal to Strengthen Quality of Basic Education:
  1. Capacity Building of the Teachers: To strengthen the basic foundation of the children we have to develop the teachers’ capacities, both in knowledge and delivery. To attain this, a retired school teacher with 25 years of experience has been requested for her assistance. She along with her husband, who is also retired (he had worked in several multinationals at various capacities) have agreed and are sharing their efforts in the development of the teachers. Three to four times a week they travel from Dhaka and come to the school to impart their knowledge amongst the teachers. Their teachers’ evaluation (Annex 1) is playing a vital role in setting a plan for the capacity building of the teachers. After finalizing this plan, we plan to roll it from January 2015.
  2. Computer Skills: Knowledge on computer usages is very essential to keep up with this day and age. Basic programs like MS Words/Excel/Powerpoint and social media are basics in the developed world and there are lots to learn. We have provided 5 computers to ADAAPS with the goal of delivering proper computer operating skills. Initially we plan to make them acquainted with basic operations and then move to MS Words. At the same time, various online educational materials would be shown to expand the general knowledge of the students.
  3. Develop English vocabulary and Communication: English is a universal language and is widely spoken throughout the world. Over the last couple of decades, Bangladesh has seen the popularity of English rise to such a level, that it has nearly become a necessity amongst the urban and semi urban population. We plan to develop English communication skills of the teachers and students through our various resources. Special after school classes would be held for the children while the in-class development would be on going. Our retired teacher (and her husband) would be available to extend assistances in every way they can.
  4. Upgrading to Class Six: By the beginning of the school year 2016, we hope to add Class Six. For this purpose, proper channels have to be approached and necessary paperwork need to be filled. With the blessings of the Honorable Minister, we hope to expedite this process. We have pledged to construct the 2nd floor but only after proper authorization have been provided by the relevant officials. The School Management Committee have assured of getting us the necessary approvals.

We truly believe we can put in a concentrated effort in developing the school. Already there are signs of improvement and if we nurtured it properly the entire community would benefit. We also believe it is our responsibility to develop and maintain our communities and come forward for its betterment, whether it is this school or any other. As we are based just next door, we would be able to directly counsel for its betterment whenever the need arises. This school is also an added benefit for our workers to send their children to school while they are working and this type of luxury is a rarity in this industry. Already there are 46 students enrolled and the next batch would start in January 2015.

Our goal is to set a high standard for this school in this locality and hope that it provides the benchmark for other schools to follow. All our efforts would not have been possible without the financial assistance of our esteemed buyers, sister concerns, and individuals who have extended their all out support. By doing so, we are jointly serving a good cause which is helping a small part of the disadvantaged population in Bangladesh. We hope that with the support of our esteemed buyers and other stakeholders we can continue our noble cause and provide opportunities for these children.