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Bangladesh: giving girls the "key of keys".

Authors
  • Chhabra, R
Type
Published Article
Journal
People & the planet
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1998
Volume
7
Issue
3
Pages
15–16
Identifiers
PMID: 12321760
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

In Bangladesh, 100 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have worked with the government to create approximately 52,000 nonformal schools for children who have never attended school or have dropped out. The Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) alone has 34,000 nonformal education centers. The BRAC program has been particularly effective at increasing educational opportunities for girls, and BRAC is a major implementing agency of the agreement forged by the International Labor Organization and the UN Children's Fund with the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers Export Association, which gives about 10,000 former child garment workers a meager stipend allowing them to study instead of work. BRAC, the Grameen Bank, and several other NGOs are also developing alternative income-generating methods to compete with the exploitative working conditions suffered by impoverished girls. BRAC now has more than a million students enrolled each year, 700,000 of whom are girls. Students participate in special condensed courses in classes that average 33 pupils (20 must be girls). Gender sensitivity is incorporated at every level. BRAC also relies on community participation in running the schools, and the flexible hours and imaginative curriculum have resulted in very high attendance rates. Government actions (making primary education compulsory and tripling education expenditure) have also resulted in increased primary enrollment while special programs seek to increase the number of girls in secondary schools.

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