Quality of education is now the highest priority in preparing children for the 21st century.
Our low-cost, scalable schooling model across eight countries in Asia and Africa has made us the world’s largest private secular education provider.
Our schools have allowed over 12 million children to grow up with opportunities that would have been unimaginable in previous decades.
We address educational needs from early childhood to tertiary level, including indigenous mother-tongue-based curricula for children from ethnic communities.
We partner with governments to provide a second chance to children living in poverty to complete basic primary education through a uniform approach. We support government schools with teacher training, libraries and computer-aided learning at the secondary level.
We provide scholarships, particularly in Bangladesh and Uganda, and schooling for especially hard-to-reach populations using boat schools in Bangladesh and the Philippines.
Our youth interventions create safe spaces in communities for young people to socialise and learn valuable life skills, employable skills and access finance.
KANIZ KHONDOKAR MITU
The magic of folk music had me spellbound from when I was a child. Music has always been in my veins. When you grow up in poverty you usually dream of a well-to-do job - one that pays your rent, bills and groceries. It is not usual to dream of becoming a singer. My family, like most, expected girls to only do chores and raise children. They threatened to ostracise me if I kept singing.
During a performance in a Boishakhi fair, a man from the crowd walked up to me and said he had never seen such talent. His name was Golam Rabbani Ratan. He offered to pay for my entire musical education. Each day my father would give me BDT 5 for school, and I would take a rickshaw to Rabbani’s house to learn folk literature. I performed in many cultural programmes as a member of a BRAC kishori (adolescent girls’) club. In 2011, I participated in BRAC’s musical reality show named ‘Meghe Dhaka Tara.’ It was a national-level competition and I won first prize. This inspired me to pursue music as a career, and I got admitted in the music department of Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University.
It is one thing to sing the national anthem in a school assembly, but completely different when you do it in a foreign land in front of thousands of people. This year, when I went abroad, one of the judges said that I was the Bangladeshi bomb that blew their minds. I still remember the booming of the microphone when the host shouted “BANGLADESH!” and how I was crying as I got up on the SAUFEST stage in Gujrat.