A former Warrington man who has been teaching in Bangladesh for the past three years is fundraising to help to flood victims.
Mark Edward, who grew up in Orford, has been working at schools around the world for more than 30 years and is currently in Bangladesh consulting on school improvements, working for RISE International school, in Sylhet.
Mark said: “I was asked to help RISE school three years ago, and since then I’ve been working with the Board of Trustees to modernise teaching at the school. All teachers here are Bangladeshi.
“I lived in Greenwood Crescent for the first 5 years of my life, then moved to Cleveland Road, in Orford. I attended Longford Primary and then Montford High School and finally Priestley College. I have studied at two universities, Portsmouth and Aberystwyth.”
Bangladesh is an underdeveloped country, according to the UN ratings systems.
Mark added: “Whilst it has aspirations of becoming a developing nation, the quality of education across the country is well below international standards. I train and guide teachers to offer active rather than passive lessons. *Rote learning is still the standard methods in most schools here, with some village schools having 60 students to a class.
“This year’s monsoon has been the worst for over 20 years, resulting in widespread flooding in Northern Bangladesh. Villages have been cut off from the road network, and can only be accessed by boat.
“I visited a remote mosque recently, where families were sheltering, after their own homes were flooded. We distributed over 400 30p food packages.
“As RISE school was closed due to flooding in the area, I opened the building for use as a base to distribute aid. One of our former employees, Mr Ifty, is well known for his charity work and is dealing with logistics. We recently too a 6-hour boat journey to distribute aid to some of the more remote areas of the region. I will be out again dropping off food packages to stranded villagers.”
Food packages cost just 30 pence and Mark is hoping to raise £500 to help provide aid to those in need.
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*Rote learning is a memorization technique based on repetition.