Ehsanur Rahman

Ehsanur Rahman

Hall of Fame Class of 2018

Ehsanur Rahman has committed much of his career to provide quality adult and continuing education through enhancing capabilities of both teachers and learners. Since 1987, he has worked with the Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM), a multidimensional initiative recognized for its services to society, and has succeeded in ensuring adult and continuing education for more than six million disadvantaged youths and adults through a creative community-based network of learning centers.

Rahman has worked to integrate skills development training in adult and continuing education to create lifelong learning opportunities for youths and adults in Bangladesh. He has actively worked to provide adult and continuing education integrated with entrepreneurship training, technical and vocational education and training through community-based, workplace-based and institutions-based courses complemented by job placement services. This packaging of education with Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is considered a major contributor of social change.

Because of the diversity and flexibility of TVET services, job-oriented skills training has been provided to more than 300,000 youths and adults, and around 80 percent of trained graduates have been employed either through wage employment or self-employment. Significantly, about 40,000 trained entrepreneurs, a large majority of who are women from marginal communities, are running business operations in rural areas and have a greater role in household decision-making.

Rahman has led the process of teacher development for high-quality teaching through a systematic process of teachers’ training covering a range of fields, including the professional development of teachers, participatory-training courses, on-site and on-the-job training or mentoring, learner’s assessment, and appropriate use of teaching-aids. To assist with teachers’ professional development, Rahman led and provided technical support in organizing the annual National Conference of Teachers in Bangladesh by DAM.

Under Rahman’s leadership, DAM created a technical teacher’s training institute to contribute to the professional development through pedagogy training and follow-up support services to TVET instructors. Rahman’s engagement of youths built their required knowledge and empowered them to operate culturally appropriate literacy, TVET, and lifelong learning programs, and to build leadership skills for development of their communities. The local youths and adolescent girls and boys in DAM areas are now actively engaged in identifying their illiterate and semiliterate peers and organizing them into learning groups.  

Rahman is a proponent of the Community Learning Centre (CLC) as an approach for community development, inclusive technical vocational education, and strengthening capacities of communities and local institutions as sustainable strategies to reach poor and marginalized populations. He has worked relentlessly throughout his career to make CLC a platform for sustainable community development. In the context of inadequacy of literacy and post-literacy programs in Bangladesh, CLC (locally known as Ganokendra, meaning “peoples center”) proved an effective platform for the neo-literate poor population. CLC has thus evolved through an action-learning-reflection cycle as a multipurpose community learning center offering opportunities for continuous knowledge acquisition and lifelong learning. Through ongoing efforts since 1992, CLCs now function in DAM working areas to provide diverse learning opportunities to the people.