In Bangladesh, many talented rural students remain under-nurtured due to lack of proper assistance. Being situated in a socio-economically disadvantaged area, in many cases they belong to families having very less income for regular sustenance. Educational expenses become a huge burden for them. However, a small help can give them necessary boost to flourish academically. Chamanara Scholarship program just aims at doing that. It is a stipend program to provide monetary scholarships to rural students who are studying in middle school or junior high school (from grade 6 to 10).
The project was started in 2004 at Raipura Upozilla of Narsingdi District. At that time students of Islampur Multi-lateral High School were under this program. The head-master of the school together with few other dignitaries of the local community used to decide, based on academic achievements and financial needs, who would get the scholarship. This way 8 scholarships were distributed each year among students of grade 7 to 10. Two annual scholarships per grade, each amounting Tk 4,000 were awarded.
Starting from 2014, SpaandanB has expanded the scope and the selection process of this scholarship program. Now, each year SpaandanB administers an examination in each grade from 6 to 10 using specially formulated questionnaires evaluating student’s strength in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English and General Knowledge. Multiple schools in the vicinity (in 2014, 6 schools participated) take part in this examination. Head-masters of each school nominates at least 10 students from each grade to appear in the examination. SpaandanB arranges the examination in one single venue in one day with proper invigilation and evaluates the answer sheets. 10 students from each grade who score the highest marks in the examination are awarded the scholarship. The rates of the scholarships are –
This process removes the possibility of any undue preference in the selection process. It also creates a competitive environment among the students of the surrounding schools to win the scholarships which is conducive to better education. This way a small fund can create a greater impact. This is a privately supported scholarship program where a fund is created and fixed at a bank to earn yearly interest to run the program each year without additional support.