On 16 March, a ceremony at the Kala Kakoli school launched a fifteen center project bringing computers and Internet to schools and their communities in the Chittagong area. The project is part of a nationwide project by an international NGO, Relief International – Schools Online (RI-SOL) which has partnered in Chittagong with the Mahmudunnabi Chowdhury Foundation, a philanthropic organization promoting technology, education and youth development in the Chittagong area.
The RI-SOL project is funded by the US Department of State's Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau, the Hewlett Foundation, the Global Catalyst Foundation and other private donations. The project promotes use and integration of information and communication technologies into secondary education. The opening took place as part of America week in Chittagong and was attended by USAID Deputy Director, Beth Paige.
The ceremony began with remarks from the headmaster of the Kala Kakoli school, Ahmedul Haq, who expressed his hopes that the center would serve as a lasting resource for the students of his school and the surrounding community. Dr. Jack Welch, the Country Director of RI-SOL discussed the need to match school and community resources with educational objectives. He also discussed RI-SOL's role in teacher and student training, and in assisting schools to develop their own solutions to the integration of technology and education.
Beth Paige, Deputy Director of USAID discussed the Global Connections and Exchange Program which will be implemented at these and other schools as part of the programming. This project is running in many countries around the world and promotes intercultural education. Through the internet, students can learn about the world around them without limitation by distance, and can show others their culture. A website developed for this project was also announced: www.connect-bangladesh.org