When it rains it pours in Bangladesh during the monsoon season, and hundreds of schools frequently shut down as a result. That's why the non profit organization Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha was founded in 2002 to build solar-powered boat schools that provide uninterrupted education year round. The simple floating structures are made of locally-sourced natural materials, and each boat is equipped with rooftop solar panels, a small library with electronic resources, and a laptop with internet connectivity.
When flood waters inundate schools – sometimes for up to four months a year – the small solar-powered boats are activated as a substitute. The boats, which each have a capacity of roughly 30 students, pick up children from the swampy mainland and float during the school day. The interior is remarkably well-equipped to provide the necessary skills and learning up to the fourth grade.
Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha built in a clever incentive program for poorer families to ensure that they send their children to attend class. Small solar-powered lanterns are available for those students who attend regularly. Not only do they permit the kids to learn after dark, but parents can use the lanterns to develop crafts that will contribute to their household income. The solar-powered boats also double as workshop space for parents. Classes in agriculture, finance, health and hygiene are available after school hours.
Via Eco Chunk