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Haor people demand more boat-schools for children

  • Published at 04:54 pm January 9th, 2020
Haor Boat school
A research report titled "Floating the light of education in Haor: Innovative solutions to remove barriers to education"was launched in an event at Bengal Inn in Dhaka's Gulshan area on Thursday, January 9, 2019 Courtesy

Boat-school students ask for more books on interesting subjects in the mini libraries of the boat-schools

A research has found the local community, children and the government officials want more boat-schools to spread education in the remote region.

The research was on the impact of Brac's boat-schools in educating children in the haor area in the north-eastern Bangladesh. 

The research report titled "Floating the light of education in Haor: Innovative solutions to remove barriers to education" was launched in an event at Bengal Inn in Dhaka's Gulshan area on Thursday.

Brac's boat-school project was established in 2012 to facilitate child education in different regions of the country, which are flooded and remain underwater for several months of the year. 

Till 2018, Brac with its 500 boat-schools provided primary education to more than 14,500 children in 16 districts. More than 99% of these students successfully passed the government's Primary School Certificate (PSC) examinations. 

The boat-schools run with a simple philosophy of "If a child cannot go to school, the school will come to their doorstep.'' In 2017, it was named as one of the world's 100 innovative education projects by the global education non-profit organization HundrED.

State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Md Zakir Hossain was present at the program as the chief guest. 

The minister thanked Brac for its innovative education projects and said: "The government has prioritized education and achieved many milestones through various initiatives." 

"While the government has reduced dropout rates, it needs capable human resources to fulfil to achieve its vision for education," he added.

The research

The major findings of the research report includes, the local community and government officials want more such schools to enable children to access quality education and avoid discontinuation of school during monsoon as parents often stop sending children to school in fear that they may drown. The well-equipped boat-schools go to their doorsteps to collect students and they can continue their studies throughout the year. 

They also suggested for more allocations to allow further development of education materials and curriculum. Boat-school students particularly asked for more books on interesting subjects in the mini libraries of the boat-schools. 

Brac Executive Director Asif Saleh said: "Education has been a key driver in all of Brac’s work from the very beginning. Since the 70s, our work began in places that are the hardest to reach to extend support first to those are the most left behind. 

"We must reduce inequality, and identify areas that have the most needs and require targeted services. We must work closely with the government if we are to change systems and maximize impact. This young generation is too important to us. We must not fail them."

Brac's boat-school project is a collaboration with Educate A Child (EAC), a global program of the Qatar-based Education Above All Foundation (EAA), UK, and Australian governments.

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