Education (35)

Friday, 15 January 2016 18:00

School for street children

School for street working and domestic working children is a new initiative; it provides street and domestic working children with a second chance on basic education. A total of ninety two schools are operating as of June 2014 which are located in Dhaka urban. Local resource person was introduced at these schools to implement co-curricular activities. A special supplementary material called ‘For a better and healthy life’ has been constructed for the street and domestic working students, which consists of ethical values and societal rules and regulations.

Friday, 15 January 2016 18:00

School for dropped out children

School for children who have dropped out is a new initiative which has been piloted both in rural and urban areas. Unlike the BPS programme, which target students who have never been enrolled in any formal school or have dropped out of school within the first three years, these schools target students who have dropped out of the formal school system in class 2 or 3. Therefore, these students could be enrolled into the schools for dropout children instead of in BRAC’s primary schools, and reduce repetition by following five-year courses and also save a schooling year.

Key features:

  • Children from poor and disadvantaged background, who dropped out of formal schooling between ages eight and 12 are given a second chance at education
  • Each class has 25 to 30 students
  • A locally recruited teacher with at least SSC is selected to guide the same cohort of students through primary education
  • Classes are held in one-room schools within walking distance of the student’s residence
  • Before enrolment, potential students have to appear for an aptitude test which measures the students’ competence; analysing the test scores students are placed into appropriate class
  • There is no tuition fee or admission fee for these students; all the necessary learning material is provided by BRAC
  • There are no long vacations; classes take place six days a week
  • BRAC develops a curriculum for classes 2 and 3 based on the national curriculum, however for classes 4 and 5, BRAC follows national curriculum and government-issued books; Children are taught to read, write, compute simple arithmetic, and acquire basic life skills and social values
  • Intensity of the bridge course is also adjusted according to the average aptitude test score
  • Children are taught to read, write, compute simple arithmetic, and acquire basic life skills and social values

Bridge course
Bridge course is a compulsory component of school for children who have dropped out; it is a combination of basic mathematics, English and science to stimulate basic knowledge, which student may have previously acquired. It also helps students to fill the learning gaps and increase their competence. Bridge course encourages students to attend school on a regular basis and emphasises on following school rules and regulations. In the school for dropout children a condensed curriculum for class 2 is covered in seven months; curriculum for class 3 is covered in the next eight months. Time allocated for classes 4 and 5 curriculums are 10 and 11 months respectively.



BRAC Primary School


School for dropout children

Class 2 duration

Class 3 duration

Bridge course


4 months

4 months


9 months




9 months

7 months



9 months

8 months

10 months


10 months

10 months

11 months


11 months

11 months

11 months


48 months

40 months

36 months


The curriculum for class 2 and 3 includes six basic subjects, which are mathematics, Bengali, English, science, social science and religion. Interaction among the teacher and students is a crucial component in the teaching and learning methods used in classroom; Bengali is a standard medium of communication. The learning environment is interactive and friendly among the teacher and peers. School for dropout children initiative reduces the repetition of class that students previously faced when they dropped out of the formal schooling in class 2 and 3.

Along with curricular activities, co-curricular activities such as physical exercise, singing, dancing and role playing are also practiced since they help develop students both physically and mentally, and also ensures higher attendance rate in school. After completing their course in the school for dropout children, the students are registered on the follow-up register and later enrolled into secondary school.


Friday, 15 January 2016 00:00

Boat school


BEP has brought primary school education to children in seasonally submerged areas by introducing boat schools, which pick up teachers and registered students from the nearest hati (settlements on tiny islands) and drop them off to their homes after classes. BRAC has named this initiative ‘shikkha tari’ which literally means the boat of education.

Why is this intervention necessary?
Most of our boat schools are in the haor (wetland) areas of Sylhet region where during monsoon majority of the lands get completely submerged for six to seven months of the year. Economic deprivation and social inequalities due to geographical isolation keeps the children away from school and education.

Research conducted by Education Watch in collaboration with BRAC revealed that over one-fifth of the students do not have access to transport during dry season, which is doubled during wet season. According to the research statistics, 42 per cent of rural areas in Sylhet have no primary schools. The nearest formal school is often miles away. Parents are naturally reluctant to send their children, especially girls, to such distant locations. The children who do enrol in schools, which are far away, usually have irregular attendance when there is flooding. As a result of these difficult conditions, primary enrolment and literacy rates in this region lag far behind the national average. The literacy rate for children above seven is 40.7 per cent and for the adult population it is 44.4 per cent, as compared to national rates which are 48.5 per cent and 52.1 per cent respectively.

Children as well as teachers face trouble in reaching schools. Children need boat fair cost to attend schools which their parents cannot afford. Moreover lack of suitable premises and infrastructure in these areas contribute further to this problem. 

The boat school initiative by BRAC is the product of a simple, yet powerful idea: if the children living in the haors cannot go to school, the school should go to them.

To ensure qualitative primary education for the isolated and most deprived children in low lying/haor areas.

Key features


  • The one-teacher school is operated by the same teacher for the same cohort of children for a period of four years and delivers lessons in all subjects
  • The school hours are flexible and are fixed according to needs
  • Children do not have to pay any fees and there are no long holidays
  • Little or no homework as most of their parents are unable to assist them
  • Children with special needs receive corrective surgeries along with devices like wheelchairs, hearing aids, glasses and ramps
  • BRAC develops textbooks and other materials for up to class 3 and government textbooks are being used in classes 4 and 5
  • Each boat school has a book shelf
  • There is a parents’ forum in every boat school where parents, teachers and BRAC staff meet for monthly discussions on issues like importance of regular attendance, health, personal hygiene, nutrition, parenting, old age treatment, preparedness for the coming school years, moral values, social awareness

Infrastructure of boat school
Boat schools are engine-operated. The boat is 42 feet in length, 10.5 feet in width and 6.2 feet by height. The body is made of steel with hardboard ceiling. It has 10 big windows (height 3 feet and width 2.7 feet each) for light and air circulation. There is a washroom with each boat school. Pure drinking water is supplied in each school. An appointed boatman takes care of the boat including ensuring cleanliness and hygiene.

Quick facts
452 boat schools (shikhha tari)


Friday, 15 January 2016 00:00

BRAC primary schools

A second chance at education
Over the past 29 years, the number of BPS has grown exponentially. We started working in 1985, opening 22 one-room schools and providing three years of schooling up to class 3, which was later extended to class 5. The main objective of non-formal primary schools is to develop a school model for the underprivileged and primary school dropout children, especially girls, to complete the five-year primary school syllabus in four years.

BRAC also works with other development organisations to expand education opportunities for disadvantaged children by partnering with them and providing them with technical and financial support to implement BRAC’s non-formal primary education model with changes as needed. These collaboration activities are called education support programmes.

Key features

  • The one-teacher school is operated by the same teacher for the same cohort of children for a period of four years and delivers lessons in all subjects
  • The school hours are flexible and fixed according to needs
  • Children do not pay any fees and there are no long holidays
  • Little or no homework as most of their parents are not capable of assisting them
  • Children with special needs receive corrective surgeries along with devices like wheelchairs, hearing aids, glasses and ramps
  • Children belonging to ethnic communities receive class lectures and course materials in their own languages up to class 2 so that they can overcome language barriers and cultural gaps
  • BRAC develops textbooks and other materials for up to class 3 and government textbooks are used in classes 4 and 5
  • Students are taught about social values and their rights and responsibilities coupled with basic financial education to empower them
  • BRAC primary school graduates are being tracked by BRAC for further study

Mechanism to ensure quality of teaching
A typical BRAC teacher is a woman from the community in which the school is, with 10 years of schooling experience. Teachers undergo an initial 12-day training course in order to repeat basic information on teaching and learning and to enhance their teaching abilities. They subsequently participate in monthly, subject-based refresher courses and yearly orientation prior to advancing to the next class. In collaboration with BRAC University’s Centre for Language (CfL), BRAC provides a two-month long (21 days each) teacher training programme in English to the teachers.

What is the linkage with the government education system?
Bangladesh government has allowed BPS students to appear for Primary Education Terminal Examination which is a fundamental board examination that takes place at the end of class 5.

The effectiveness of this programme was evident when the graduates of the non-formal schools were well ahead of the country average when it came to passing grade for the primary school examination - 97 per cent success rate in 2009, and 99.54 per cent in 2010.

How do we track graduates at secondary schools?
BRAC experienced that its graduates admitted in secondary schools often cannot complete their education due to many critical circumstances. We started the ‘tracking of BRAC graduates at secondary schools’ programme to ensure their enrolment at the secondary level, promote regular attendance, reduce dropout rate so that they successfully complete the course.

BRAC is also regularly in touch with secondary school authorities and other organisations to manage scholarships and full/half free education for BPS graduates.

a.    Shikkha Tari: Boat School
b.    School for dropped out children
c.    Performing and fine arts
d.    Total learning experience (TLE)
e.    School for street children
f.     Social and emotional learning (SEL)
g.    Aflatoun
h.    Mobile library for BRAC Primary Schools
i.     Interactive digital content in primary education
j.     Kumon mathematics at BRAC schools

Quick facts:
14,153 primary schools
389,910 students, of whom 62.17% are girls
5.3 million students completed courses to date, of which 60.43% are girls
5.55 million students transferred to formal schools to date, of which 60.12% are girls
14,153 teachers

Read Stories:
Innovative Steps Towards Primary Education in Haor Area
Akhi studies hard to be a teacher.
Alam, a Non-formal Primary School Student, Now Runs His Own.


Related Videos:
Mitali Dango: BRAC School Teacher
BRAC Primary School Students Singing.


Friday, 15 January 2016 00:00

BRAC pre-primary schools (BPPS)

Why is this intervention necessary?
Introduced in 1997, pre-primary education is a critical strategic intervention for promoting the quality of primary schooling especially for children who are first-generation learners. Pre-primary education helps children transition from home to formal schooling. The main objective of the programme is to prepare underprivileged children to enter the mainstream primary schools.

Many a times in underprivileged families, parents do not have the education necessary to teach children foundational literacy skills, nor are they equipped to meet the demands and routines of formal schooling. BEP provides a basic academic foundation, and the crucial emotional and physical development required for success in primary schools. Besides education, children with special needs are also provided with medical support and necessary assistive devices.

Key features of BPPS
•    Centre-based approach with one teacher for 25-30 children
•    Children aged 5-6 years• Sixty per cent of the students are girls
•    No tuition fee
•    Flexible class hours
•    Involvement of the community in addition to 2.5 hours of schooling per day
•    The teacher is a local woman with 10 years of schooling experience
•    The schools are located on catchment of mainstream primary school
•    Fun and activity-based pre-school education
•    Tracking former pre-primary students during their study in the mainstream primary school through mobilising parents to ensure learning and retention  

How do we ensure quality of teaching?
Preference is given to teachers who have at least 10 years experience of schooling and a senior school certificate. BRAC trains these teachers in the latest and most effective teaching methodologies in a non-formal, creative manner, encouraging effective development of children's communications, language and social skills, active hands on learning, the use of arts including free-hand drawings and other modes of class work.

What's the linkage with government schools?
After completing the one-year pre-primary course, all graduates are enrolled in the nearest government or registered non-government primary schools. BRAC staff keeps a track of these children until they complete their primary education.

Quick facts:
13,430 BRAC pre-primary schools

377,954 students, of whom 59.79% are girls

13,425 teachers, of whom all are women

6.01 million students completed course to date, of which 61.45% are girls

Friday, 15 January 2016 18:00

Early childhood development (ECD)

In the quest to ensure qualitative early childhood education for children of ages 3-5 and prop up national stipulation, BRAC Education Programme launched a two-year integrated play-based early childhood development (ECD) centre in collaboration with BRAC-Institute of Educational Development (BIED) and BRAC Health, Nutrition and Population Programme. A total of 20 ECD centres were opened in Muktagacha and Mymensing in January 2014. Having immense community response, 220 more centres were opened in 2015 in five upazilas ie, Mymensing Sadar, Gouripur, Trishal, Fulbaria, Muktagacha and Gaforgaon of Mymensing district.

The aim of this intervention is to stimulate children’s learning capability in a playful environment, improve children’s health and nutrition and raise community awareness.

Key features

•    One-room centre,  3 to 5-year-old children
•    No tuition fees and flexible school timing
•    Class duration 2 hours, 5 days in a week
•    Child-friendly teaching environment, short vacations and  22-25 children in each centre
•    Play-based curriculum
•    Group learning and emphasis on participatory activities
•    Needs-based curriculum material
•    Well trained staffs and caregivers on ECD
•    Participation of parents and community
•    Mothers volunteering in the centre
•    Outdoor play space Home visit by caregivers
Health check-ups

Friday, 15 January 2016 18:00


Establishing education programmes in six countries (Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uganda, South Sudan, Sierra Leone and the Philippines), BRAC has built the largest secular, private education system in the world, with more than 900,000 students enrolled in BRAC primary schools.

The high-impact and low-cost model of BRAC’s primary schools give disadvantaged students a second chance at learning. In collaboration with BRAC University-BRAC Institute of Education Development (BU-BIED) and BRAC Health Nutrition Population Programme (HNPP), we have introduced a centre-based learning, two-year pilot project known as shishu bikash kendro (SBK) for three year-old children. This early childhood development initiative aims to strengthen child health and support, ensuring holistic development (physical and cognitive development), and enhance  learning ability.
Complementing mainstream school systems with innovative teaching methods and materials, BRAC establishes primary schools in communities, which are not accessed by formal education systems. Through this endeavour, we bring education to millions of children, particularly those affected by violence, displacement, discrimination or extreme poverty in rural areas as well as urban slums. We have made primary school education available to children in areas that are seasonally submerged under water by introducing boat schools.

As another new initiative, we have introduced schools for dropout children, targeting students who have never been enrolled in any formal school or have dropped out of school within the first three years.This has been piloted in both rural and urban areas. Enrolling in these schools instead of BRAC’s primary schools reduces repetition by following five-year courses and also saves one year of schooling. Underprivileged children are targeted at the pre-primary level with the goal of preparing them to enter mainstream primary schools. We also reach out to children from ethnic communities and those with special needs. Our hands on, rhythmic and kinaesthetic development approach, particularly in pre-primary and primary education, has promoted co-curricular activities that help in the holistic development of children.

The programme provides needs-based training to teachers and school management committees in secondary schools on capacity building. It implements mentoring initiatives by involving students in extracurricular and group activities to boost attendance and reduce dropout rate in underperforming rural secondary schools. Furthermore, by introducing innovative e-learning method in secondary schools we plan to significantly improve learning environment and results in board examinations.

Scholarship programmes are also available that provide financial support to talented students by paying for their college or university tuition fees, at home and abroad.

We are giving increasing attention to adolescents and youth as a special group, offering them life skills, livelihood and skills development training, as well as basic   education and financial services. In BRAC’s adolescent clubs, peer-driven initiatives are taken to enhance personal growth and social skills. Our multipurpose community learning centres promote reading, especially through mobile libraries for those who cannot travel far from their houses. It also works towards creating self-employment opportunities among the rural youth.

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