solar-powered floating classroom, a shidhulai swanirvar sangstha initiative
shidhulai swanirvar sangstha, a non-profit organization, aims to provide year-round eduction for bangladeshi elementary students
living in areas of the south asian country, prone to flooding as a result of monsoons. in some parts, due to the torrential downpours,
schools are flooded for 3-4 months a year, providing an obstacle for youth to continue their education during these periods.
the initiative has introduced solar-powered floating schools to tackle the problem, ensuring that children are offered uninterrupted
learning sessions even during the height of monsoon season. shidhulai swanirvar sangstha has developed solar-powered floating schools
for use during these periods, which drive right up to the mainland to pick-up students. each boat-cum-classroom accommodates
30 students and is equipped with an internet-linked laptop, library and electronic resources, providing basic education up to the grade IV level.
the computer and overall electricity of the vessels are powered by solar energy via panels which are installed on their roof-top.
the use of this sustainable source offers flexible school schedules – when the day is over, students can take home a recharged-low-cost solar lantern,
offering them a light source in which to continue study, while women for example, may continue to stitch quilts after dusk to generate
more income for their family. the solar powered lamps are given to families for free providing their children go to school regularly,
and better off households pay a small monthly fee to receive one of the devices.
outside of the elementary school lessons, the boats also act as venues for conducting training sessions for the children’s parents on such subjects
as agriculture, finance, health, hygiene and nutrition.
the project which first started in 2002, has since benefited 70, 000 children and is a 2012 WISE (world innovation summit for education)
awards winner . it is funded through various resources which include crops, fisheries as well as the conversion of kerosene lanterns into solar ones.
outside of education, the venture has also been advantageous in developing solar water farming to safeguard food supplies,
ensuring a year-round income for families in flood prone areas, ultimately improving the nutritional and health status of children.
the floating classrooms offer education to elementary school children even during monsoon season
each classroom is equipped with a library
children sitting on the deck of one of the floating schools studying
the boats dock on the mainland, bringing students to and from their doorstep each day
solar-powered floating school out on the water
installation of solar panels onto boats selected for educational use