CMES stands for Centre for Mass Education in Science. As a national NGO of Bangladesh, it is currently working through its 25 units located in 20 districts operated from central Service Centre in Dhaka. CMES has been working with disadvantaged adolescents since 1978 with a vision to empower them economically through skill development in different parts of the country. It works to encourage and promote thoughts and actions based on science & technology through arranging an appropriate mass education for the disadvantaged adolescents with view to reaching benefits of science to the commons.
Education and practices that help to bring appropriate technology within the grip of disadvantaged people for their empowerment is the major concern of CMES.
Education in the main stream being rather non-practical, formalistic, and dependent on rote-learning, even those who get the benefit of some years of the existing education system cannot make use of it in the development of their life and livelihood. The dropout rate from primary and secondary education is very high approaching almost 40%. Very often the dropouts face a bleak future, without any job skill.
CMES concentrates on this problem in education and human resource development. It worked over last three decades for an alternative education and supportive programmes, which would enable various aspects of education including science & technology to be practically used in a life-oriented manner. This has led to CMES's Basic School System (BSS).
The adolescent girls who are doubly disadvantaged in the traditional society are still subject to a lot of discriminations and repressions and have to strive hard for equal opportunities. CMES's Adolescent Girls' Programme (AGP) offers a dynamic and innovative method for the girls’ empowerment to achieve that.
BSS and AGP are the twin programmes that form the core of CMES’s efforts, economic self-reliance being a major goal of both. For this, continuous efforts are given to make technical education more aligned with market demand and our graduates need a linkage with the market and capacity building training for commercialization of their products and services. Appropriate (both new and emergent) technologies are adapted in the BSS system to assist the achievement of the goal. Similarly, environmentally sustainable (renewable energy related and material & energy efficient) technologies and their practices are therefore emphasized, as are the methods for quick and effective attainment of education and skills.
Research and innovative approaches are applied within the education, technology, gender and commercialization aspects of the programme. CMES, therefore, has built itself up as a research organization as well as an implementing organization which is trying to develop a replicable model for the real field. It has also been a continuously learning NGO, learning from and collaborating with other relevant efforts home and abroad.