CSR Awards Finalists 2022: How bkash’s National Book Reading Program & Science Fairs Enables Literacy
bKash Limited’s initiative, under the slogan আলোকিত মানুষ বিকশিত বাংলাদেশ focuses on enabling and encouraging reading and a hunger for knowledge in children across the country. This includes donating books, funding libraries, hosting science festivals and reaching out to children with special needs.

Since 2014, bKash, with Bishwo Shahitto Kendro and teachers of 2,900 schools formulated a unique curriculum where all institutions’ students are expected to attend a book reading program, followed by quizzes to analyze their takeaways from this program. This nationwide book reading program is designed to be a sustainable process with a preexisting outreach in encouraging students between ages 11 and Bishwo Shahitto Kendro updates all schools about the students’ progress. They also refurbish or replace old and worn-out books in the school libraries, introducing new collections.

Over the last seven years, bKash distributed 263,700 books that benefitted 2.7 million children from around 2900 Institutions. The students are expected to read about a total of 126 books suitable to their age and disposition over a period of seven years, exposing them to diverse and multi-faceted cultural expositions.

An average of 40,000 books is distributed each year by bKash, adding 100 new institutions to the list every year.

Educating children with special needs
To establish a platform for children with special needs by continuing their proper education system, bKash partners with ‘Proyash-Jashore’ to fully fund special education for 118 students from 2019. A scholarship fund of Tk.1.5 million is disbursed annually.

Hosting National Science festivals
bKash Limited partners with “BigganChinta” to organize the Nationwide Science Festival since 2019. Students from grades 6 to 10 present science projects representing 350 schools from 7 Administrative Divisions. This annual event includes exhibition of science projects, quiz competition, lectures by renowned teachers of the country, robot exhibitions, magic shows, orientation with various scientific concepts, cultural show, and prize-giving session for winners.

Our students are reading more and learning more. Where previously we had students go home and be on their phones, now they check out books from the library every day.” – Md Nurul Islam, Principal, BIAM Laboratory School and College, Bogra

Additional Findings from Research
2 major public schools, the respective principals, teachers, 10 students who
participated in both the Science Festival and Book Reading Program and the team
from bKash Ltd participated in the survey.

  • Children take out 2-3 books every week, primarily bangla fiction books and
    graphic novels
  • Children read 126 more books per year on average through the program
  • Additionally. two studies from NAPD, under the Ministry of Public Administration
    and the World Bank, show that students who read non-textbooks under this
    program perform better in exams and essay competitions than those who have
    not read any books.
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