The higher Education Loan Programme was introduced in 1997 for the children of Grameen families so that they can pursue education at the highest level. Since its inception, the programme has distributed 47,851 loans worth BDT 2066.84 million (USD 30.33 million). In 2010 alone, 8,582 students were sanctioned loans. Khulna zone has the most number of students (3,918) receiving higher education loans, with Jessore zone second (3,911). The Dudsar Sailkupa branch under Jessore zone has given the highest number of student loans (168).
Disbursement of Higher Education Loans Up to December, 2010.
|Bachelor degree (Honours)
|B. Sc. (Engineering)
|M. Sc. (Agriculture)
|B. Sc. (Agriculture)
|Degree in Medicine
Mohammad Hira Mia –
A carpenter’s son is on course to become a doctor
The story of Hira Mia, who is currently studying in Rangpur Medical College for the MBBS degree, is not yet a story of rags to riches but he can certainly look forward to join an elite profession in the not too distant future.
Although born to an impoverished family drawing its sustenance from the meagre income of his father engaged in a lowly profession of carpentry, Hira Mia showed signs of talent in the school. He earned the affection of his teachers who provided guidance in his studies. He secured GPA 5 Grade in the SSC examination but the family did not have the wherewithal to send him to a reputable college. However, help came in the shape of moral and financial support from Grameen Bank. His mother, Fuljan Begum, was a member in Centre 25/M of GB’s Durkuti Lalmonirhat Branch. The Manager and other people in the Branch not only provided encouragement but also arranged a scholarship on a monthly basis for his education. Hira Mia lived up to their expectation and secured GPA 5 in the Higher Secondary examination.
The successes achieved by Hira fuelled the aspirations of his parents to send him to a medical college. He also succeeded to gain admission in Rangpur Medical College but did not have the money to defray the expenses in the college. GB once again came to his rescue with a loan under its Programme for higher education.
Hira realize that he is on course to overcome poverty only because of the generous assistance of Grameen Bank. He, however, does not wish to bask in the glory that a medical degree brings but wants to realize his cherished dream of serving the ailing humanity belonging to the underprivileged sections of the society.
Credit Program for Self-employment of the Recipients of Higher Education Loans
Grameen Bank has introduced a special Credit Program for Self-employment of the recipients of the bank’s higher Education Loans, who have either completed or still pursuing their education. The objective is to provide the enterprising and hard working students financial support to create a band of new entrepreneurs. The philosophical basis of the program is to imbue them with the slogan “We wouldn’t beg others for jobs, we’ll create jobs for others”.
The program is aimed at changing the age old perception of the unemployed youth about jobs being their only ‘aim of life’, and turn their attention to the virtue of self- employment. This program, it is hoped, will contribute to reduction of poverty through use of local raw materials and appropriate technology for promotion of agro-based industries.
The Bank has set a detailed guideline for the program. The students may avail of the facility either singly or jointly for investment in any productive sector. No ceiling has been fixed for the loan amount but the borrower’s capacity will be taken into account to determine the loan amount. The sectors for which financial support are provided include small business, nursery, cow and goat rearing, poultry, small clinics and health centers, phone shops etc.
GB sets Matiur on road to success
Matiur’s story mirrors the struggles of millions of young people from impoverished families to get a foothold in quest of a respectable career. Fortunately for him, he found an ally in Grameen Bank to carve out a niche for himself--first with GB’s higher education loan for his education and later to pursue a career as an entrepreneur under the Bank’s self employment loan programme.
Matiur is one of the four children of his parents—three sons and one daughter. His father ekes out living as a day labourer. Sometimes Matiur also accompanied his father to work in the field. His other two brothers are students and only sister is physically handicapped.
Matiur studied in his village school and college under the lengthening shadow of poverty and passed his Secondary and Higher Secondary examinations. Despite the penury that gnawed on their mortal existence, his parents harboured a keen desire to provide him a higher education. With courage and a prayer, they sent him off to Pabna Edward College where he enrolled in the History Department for a Bachelor degree wih Honours. He, however, found the going real hard on account of perennial financial constraints. Uncertainty loomed ominously over his ability to continue his studies. It was at this stage that his mother, who was a member of Grameen Bank, learnt about the Bank’s Education Loan. They soon met the GB Manager who gave a patient hearing and agreed to process his application. In due course, the Bank sanctioned Education Loan of Tk 38,000 for two years. Matiur has obtained an honours degree course and is now studying for the Master Degree.
In the meantime, Matiur bought two cows with a loan from Grameen Bank. Other members of the family also joined him to look after the cows. They have sold one of the cows for Tk 32,000 on the eve of Eid-ul-Azha and the other is awaiting disposal. Matiur plans to build on this experience to set up a dairy on a bigger scale. He does not wish to seek job from others but looks forward to the day when he would himself create employment opportunity for many people.
Matiur’s enthusiasm and struggle to build a career is matched by his exuberance to acknowledge his debt to the Grameen for empowering him to leave behind the spectre of poverty that haunted him and his family for almost an eternity. ”I will settle my debts to GB for the loans alright”, he says, “but cannot repay the debt of gratitude to GB and its founder for all that they have done for me”.