The first Sir William Beveridge Foundation School was established in Dhaka nearly two years ago. It is a non-profit concern and provides destitute and underprivileged children with a basic education and helps them to enjoy their childhood in an institutional setting with secular democratic values.
Places are aimed at children aged 5–12 years of age usually living with or without their parents or family in shanty areas – priority is given to hard to reach children – and whose parents monthly income is less than 2,500 BDT per month. These are families that would find it more or less impossible to afford the fees to send their children to school – instead they would perform household works or other income generating activities.
The children learn Bangla, English, mathematics, general knowledge and religious education (this includes Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, etc as exist in South East Asia). The method of teaching the students from play group to class five is together in a room with one or two groups under close supervision that are monitored by one or two teachers up to the primary level.
The Foundation also provides necessary logistical support including safety and security, healthy meal and educational materials for its students. If needed, the Foundation will also offer logistical or financial support to families so that they do not feel under pressure to have to take their children out of school and into helping generate income for the family.
The main aim of the school is to provide the children with the ability to pursue vocational opportunities when they move into adulthood. In 2010, four students from the school have gone into further education at secondary level so allowing four new children to join the primary group at the school.