According to experts, the children of the Chittagong Hill Tracts are among the most illiterate in the nation and at the highest risk of dropping out of school. For many indigenous children, there is no school within walking distance. Moreover, indigenous children speak their own languages at home but in school, they are compelled to read and write in Bangla and the books used in schools are often irrelevant to their lives. Children struggle and drop out from primary school. Our Golden Hour is addressing this by building and sustaining community-based schools.
The children now can attend local schools, and with the help of Our Golden Hour, have books in native languages and are taught by teachers who use contemporary educational methods, rather than the dry lecture and rote memorization formats used in most schools in the region. Children learn to think critically, and speak up in classes. They are engaged in learning.
This project started with a small classroom and 5 students The next year, the schools taught 28 students, then 72 students; now more than 700 students attend local schools sponsored by Our Golden Hour, and we have spread our efforts, now providing stories to more than 1300 students in multiple schools. We hope to add schools and grades to its educational initiatives.
Curriculum and Teacher Professional Development
Our Golden Hour is preparing teachers by introducing contemporary methods of education, including discussion and activity-based learning, along with arts education. We work intensively with teachers to train them in a wide range of contemporary educational techniques. Teachers learn to engage students deeply in a curriculum that emphasizes civics, ethics, and cultural history, combining research-based teaching with compelling local stories.
Monitoring and Evaluation
In addition to developing culturally sensitive curriculum, Our Golden Hour is continuously monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the group’s work. We are encouraged by the positive results of the metrics, and continue to fine tune the program to better serve the children of the indigenous communities.