Having been a winner of the 2014 Innovation Fund Challenge (funded by Gates Foundation), IED has begun the implementation of the innovation at its pilot SSCOPE centres. SSCOPE centres are low-cost junior-secondary education school models that explore how general education can be provided to outreached and underprivileged adolescents.
For these centres, IED submitted an innovative idea of using bKash (mobile payment) to pay school fees that would make the process easier and more convenient for the low-income parents. The system would allow parents to pay in instalments, while at the same time make the official system of collection of fees more efficient. As a result of this idea, IED was selected as one of the seven winners of this challenge.
To begin implantation of the idea, in late-August IED began providing a bKash orientation course to the staff of the SSCOPE centres. A group consisting of 2 field operations officers, 18 teachers and 3 ShomajShongi (para-counsellors who work with the students) received the orientation course.
Through the fund received from this project, the mobile money scheme will be implemented in 3 phases within a time period of 1 year in the 9 locations of urban Dhaka where the 33 SSCOPE centres operate (reaching around 1,200 students). The experience of this 1-year project would not just assist in reflecting a unique mode of fees payment for parents in the education sector, but would also provide an opportunity to use mobile money for multiple purposes among a diverse population.