The term Kajoli Model refers to a unique experiment that is taking place in Bangladesh today to promote education of children from the most deprived sections of the society. The experiment which began as an action research in 2002 has now emerged as a fully-fledged pre-school learning model. And because of its innovative features and its “fun and game” approach, the Model is fast gaining popularity throughout Bangladesh. It is being widely used by rural communities to run pre-school learning centers, known as Kajoli centers, primarily through their own efforts.
There are now more than a hundred such pre-school centers throughout Bangladesh, and more are coming up, which are set up by local communities to prepare children from the most disadvantaged families in their midst to enter the local primary school system after a years stay at a center. The centers are run by the communities with their own means and with little or no support from outside.
The centers have been taking advantage of an early childhood learning model, known as Kajoli Model, developed by Research Initiatives, Bangladesh (RIB). The model is premised upon “low cost or no cost” principle. Apart from the monthly remuneration of Tk. 500 (US$ 8) for the teachers, which is mostly raised from community support, there are no other significant running costs for the centers. Since there are no books, paper and pencil used in the model, there is no extra costs for the parents either. The children meet at the centers for about four hours a day of fun and game and learn to read and write too in the process. The centers are located at places made available by the local people, though more recently a number of permanent tin-sheds or thatched-roof huts have been built through community support.
On its part, RIB provides the learning materials [see...] and teachers’ trainings for the centers but no financial help. RIB adopted it as a conscious policy not to help the centers financially so as not to harm their community ownership. However, of late it has undertaken efforts to raise limited funds to help certain aspects of the running of the centers to which reference will be made elsewhere in this website.