14 November 2012, Dhaka. BRAC has partnered with Educate A Child (EAC), an initiative which was launched today by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the wife of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. The initiative is to build 400 boats, and establish 500 schools for children from disadvantaged backgrounds living in the flood plains of the remote parts of Bangladesh by 2014. In addition, EAC will provide funds for 2,000 slum schools in urban areas. This announcement came during the World Innovation Summit on Education (WISE), which is being held from Nov 13th-15th in Doha, Qatar.
Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Founder and Chairperson, Asif Saleh, Senior Director, Strategy, Communication and Capacity, and Dr Safiqul Islam, Director Education, of BRAC were invited to participate at the summit.
Earlier, on October 22nd, Her Highness inaugurated a BRAC boat school in Derai, Shunamgonj, Bangladesh. Following the visit, she said “The children who still have no access to schooling are the hardest to reach, in the most persistently difficult situations of poverty, conflict, natural disaster or marginalisation. I recently visited education projects in…… the marshlands of Bangladesh, the combination of flooding and poverty make normal schooling almost impossible. Here, ‘floating schools’ serve a dual purpose – they act as a bus, collecting the children, and as a classroom, providing education. This solution is innovative and inspiring and the children I met were so happy to learn – an opportunity often denied to their parents."
Her Highness also serves as Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, and has been listed in Forbes Magazine as one of the 100 most influential women for her special contribution in education and the development sector both, at both the national and international arena.
The high-impact, low-cost model of BRAC primary schools give disadvantaged students a second chance at learning. Through slum schools and boat schools, education is provided to children, particularly those affected by displacement, discrimination and extreme poverty in urban slum areas and seasonally submerged areas.