Holidays in Bangladesh

Holidays in Bangladesh

16 June, that was the date that my father (Shahadat Manik) had announced that we were going to Bangladesh on 09 December 2011, and that on 18 January 2012 we were to return, two days before my birthday. While there we were to travel to a remote village school to host a computing workshop, fully professional with all the spics and specs. The workshop was to be run for six to seven days, covering the basics of what a computer is, all the way to how to use the internet for information and communication.

For the first three weeks of my stay in Bangladesh, I stayed with my family surrounded my all my cousins. Immediately, I noticed the focus put on education. It was overwhelmingly more obvious that a child was expected to do more academically then anyone in most western countries. The struggle and competition is also five times more hard then the competition in most western countries, having to compete with millions instead of thousands.

When finally we embarked on the journey to Khila Baazar High School, the trip was long and hard, a total of about four hours but within hours of coming into the area, its beauty instantly hit me; the air was clean and fresh. Everyone was very friendly, and it seemed like I’d come to a perfect place to spend my time. I got used to playing sports with my cousins on the first day, no iPods, no games, just fun. Everything about the place was fresh and natural; everyone lived their lives without any of the city pressures which plague us in the west. First thing I wanted for sure was a bike to ride around what seemed to be one of the most picture perfect places on the planet. It got me thinking, if cities where as beautiful as this maybe a lot of people wouldn’t be as stressed as they are.

Then finally the time had come to accompany my father to the workshop in Khila Bhaazar Highschool, the drive took about 4 hours and I was excited for my first day of sitting in class with my father. To my surprise I had discovered that my father was actually an excellent teacher, his techniques seemed to engage and work with the children quite well. What was even more surprising was the children’s hunger to learn. Picking up topics which at their age I would have thought was a complete bore, they not only picked up the topics they seemed to fully memorize them in a matter of minutes.

Every child seemed to be hanging on every word my father seemed to say, I felt as though I was nothing compared to these students, in comparison I might as well of not tried in school at all. The gender ratio was another surprise for me also, in western culture any IT related subject was mostly male dominated, most females so to show little to no interest here at all, but to my surprise the class in this small rural town had mostly girls than boys, here it seemed that not only did girls not care about a gender barrier within learning, but they were just eager to learn anything and everything.

Nearly a week had passed and the living conditions of the house I was living in had gotten to me, and to think that some of the children lived in more simple homes and had the large drive to learn, was simply inspiring. All the children were bent on getting this workshop certificate to a level where maybe I have never been dedicated before.

To think these children might not even have access to fully clean water like us all the time, or even have full access to food is astounding, and yet they have the strength to be enthusiastic about their education and as well as their personal lives. In comparison these kids would probably work twice as hard as anyone living in a western country, and that is just purely inspirational.

By four days, my poor little city boy ego couldn’t allow me to stay in the village any longer, I soon headed off to Dhaka, but in spite of that, I will never forget how dedicated to their education the kids of Khila Baazar Highschool where, it was a real inspiration. I really believe some of the children there will go onto greater things, and it would only be a pleasure to learn that maybe my father’s workshop may of helped. The smallest things sometimes make the biggest differences.

Workshop photos at

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