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School nutrition project

BEP started the school nutrition project in April 2012, in 13 government and 67 non-government primary schools. The goal of the project is to reduce the dropout rate in primary schools, mitigate short-term hunger and eliminate child malnutrition by involving local members of the community, mothers’ clubs and local NGOs, without interrupting the daily school routine.


  • Provide nutritious food to children, between the ages of 5-11, in the primary schools of Bangladesh
  • Demonstrate a technical and operational model by conducting a school nutrition pilot programme in Bangladesh
  • Reduce the dropout rate and increase students’ enrolment in primary schools
  • Enhance access to quality education and improve the educational standard for students

School meal project

A pilot project named school meal was from January 2014, with the support of the World Food Programme (WFP). It operates in the areas of Jamalpur district which are prone to river erosion, covering 19 government primary schools, seven BRAC schools and five madrasas (religious schools).

Project objectives

  • To improve school enrolment and attendance
  • Reduce short-term hunger to improve students’ attention in the classroom
  • Increase the number of women cultivating vegetables in the village
  • Engage rural women in income-generating activities

The programme follows school-based kitchen model by providing freshly-cooked meals counting 735 kilocalorie five days a week. WFP provides fortified rice, oil, salt, local lintels and biscuits. 5,000 students receive nutritious khichuri each day during their lunch hour. Locally-grown fruits are also given depending on the availability. The rice is fortified with six essential vitamins and minerals, helping children to get the nutrients for their development and better learning.

Women from the community are selected for every kitchen as ‘kitchen shebikas’ and cooks. They receive training on school feeding strategy, food production and distribution, hygiene maintenance and food quality, etc. A committee consisting of five members are responsible for supervising the kitchen. A mothers’ club consisting of 12 mothers of children attending the schoolare responsible for distributing food within 30 minutes after the food has been prepared. The clubs are formed to create a sense of ownership for mothers.


Over the last decade, Bangladesh has made a tremendous progress in achieving gender parity in education including 100 per cent enrolment in primary education. BRAC’s contributions in this national achievement have been highly recognised by national and international stakeholders. Still, the quality of education and drop-out rate, particularly among girlsremain a matter of great concern.


BRAC’s programme PACE (post primary basic and continuing education) has been engaged in improving the quality of education with the broader objective of supplementing the government‘s effort to meet the target for secondary school completion with improved quality. Since 2001, PACE has evolved as a successful model that meets the needs of students in secondary schools. The approach involves and engages teachers, school management committees, parents and community people to support students to have a quality and continuous education.


Currently, PACE extended support to and works closely with students in 4,000 secondary schools.



As a model of intervention, BRAC made a strategic decision to run a pilot integrating the interventions of PACE and MEJNIN (meyeder jonnyo nirapod nagorikotto – safe citizenship for girls) programmes.

In PACE, the mentoring programme for schools, 25-30 students from classes 6 to 9 are selected as mentors following a selection criteria. Mentors provide social and academic assistance to fellow-students, ensure higher attendance in classes regularly, create enabling environment in classroom, participate and encourage members to be active in classroom activities, organise sports and inter-class debate competitions (at least once a year), publish wall magazines with creative writing from peers (at least two issues a year), help keep the school clean, participate in gardening among other roles. These existing mentor groups of PACE secondary schools form the student watch group (SWG).


Gonokendro or multipurpose community learning centres (MCLC) is an important hub at the community level under PACE which are established mostly in non government, secondary schools. People from the local communities assemble in these centres. A youth group is an active part of gonokendros, involved in social works within their communities. These existing platforms of PACE will act as community watch group in this process of integration. At the same time, community watch groups are formed selecting people who have wide acceptance in the community, a strong understanding of local culture, and show courage and commitment to work on the elimination of sexual harassment.


Objective of integrating the projects are:

  • To contribute to the reduction of child marriage and girls’ drop-out rate from schools
  • To create an enabling environment to protest and resist sexual harassment and violence against girls
  • To promote self-esteem, leadership and creativity among secondary school students
  • To increase staff capacity to deal with sexual harassment


The project has been implemented for the year of 2015 in 34 schools of two upazilas in Sylhet district.

To raise awareness on sexual harassment among students, teachers and communities in general, different types of activities have been taken. The main activities of this project include student workshop, teachers meeting, community watch group meeting, mentor watch group, community watch group among others. To build staff capacity to deal with sexual harassment training is provided for for LRP (local resource person) and staff, such as TOT (training of trainers) on gender , counselling and leadership. To promote self-esteem, leadership and creativity among secondary school students, this project also organises leadership training for mentors.


The project at a glance (until June 2015)


Total number

Female participants

Male participants

Total participants

Student workshop


8366 (48.04%)

9050 (51.96%)


Teachers meeting


90   (17.48%)

425 (82.52%)


Formation of mentor watch group


585 (57.35%)

435 (42.65%)


Mentor watch group follow up


252 (57.53%)

186 (42.47%)


Community watch group meeting


45   (28.85%)

111 (71.15%)


Community watch groups formed


46   (38.33%)

74 (61.67%)


Inception meeting with teachers, parents, community members, police and government officials at the sub-district level


1       (1.37%)

72 (98.63%)




Read 3812 times Last modified on Sunday, 27 March 2016 09:29

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