95% of Tribal Students Pass Rigorous SSC Exams
Tribal students in the hostels are just now resuming school, as the Bengali school year begins in mid-January. It’s been an arduous past two years with the Covid-19 Pandemic, school closures and family demands to help in the fields have resulted in students falling behind in their studies.
Students had just two short months to catch up for 18 months of lost schooling; They needed a miracle. But strong desire forges great determination and our students studied diligently. Amazingly, over 100 of our 10th-Grade Students passed their rigorous Bengali SSC Exams!
New Kainwoi Para School Up and Running
Fortunately for our K-3rd-Grade schools in remote villages, the Covid-19 lockdowns have not affected them, and these schools have remained open. Children started attending school at our new remote, 7-village Christian Kainwoi Para School, after construction of benches and tables was delayed due to superstitions that perceived an evil spirit had invaded their community.
Children who’ve never had an education or heard Christ have finally begun their schooling. A grand school opening celebration was held, and village leaders shared their hopes and dreams.
Sadly, only 19 children showed as the 2021 school year was almost finished, but we’re hoping for 65 as the new year begins. Some parents may be reticent to lose the labor of their older children and, being unschooled themselves, they question the need for an education.
New Adu Para School Under Construction
News of our new Kainwoi 7-village school has spread among the Mro tribe, and now a group of 13 villages is asking for a similar school. These villages represent 152 families who will soon be the proud hosts of the new Adu Para School (K through 3rd Grade).
Like the Kainwoi school community, these Buddhist villagers desire education and they are eager to hear the Gospel. One man has given 1.2 acres of good land for the school site and construction costs have been estimated.
Funds ($6,420) have been received from faithful CoH supporters for the school and the toilet buildings. Construction has begun on a 20’ x 40’ cement school building with a cement floor, bamboo walls, and tin roof.
Khumi Student Lodging Update
In our last newsletter, I told of the Khumi Christian couple who have requested help to operate their hostel. The Khumi hostel has now reopened and Jonathon, who is disabled, and his wife now care for 31 students (it was 17).
We’re excited to report that the Khumi hostel will now receive assistance under the auspices of the Bangladesh Tribal Association of Baptist Churches (BTABC). This means that CoH can assist these Khumi Christians as they bring education and the Gospel to their children.
Since last November, your donations have provided for a toilet building ($1,157) and a deep well and water tank ($1,832). Thank You!
Currently, only 10 of 68 schools receive regular support for school supplies. CoH supports 1,506 K-through-3rd Grade students, each of whom requires $2.74 for annual school supplies. Would you consider supporting CoH with a $100 gift to provide 36 students with pencils and paper for the year?
Through your generosity, tribal communities have been planting fast-growing Acacia Mangium trees to provide future support for our tribal Christian schools. Already, 52,000 trees have been planted on 60 acres.
The tree farms can hold many more thousand trees, but no further planting will take place until later in the year as it is currently the dry season. Soon we will begin clearing and growing new nursery stock in preparation for an early summer planting. With your help, we envision eventually planting 160 acres with 210,000 trees.
We had a pleasant surprise: When we hired labor from the local villages, the wages we’d paid have put a measurable boost in the local economy. The extra cash families have earned from tree planting and weeding has enabled them to begin planting their own Mangium trees. We’re excited that our vision is catching among the tribal community!
For more information, see Trees for Education Programs.