Three Bangladeshi schools, all from BRAC, have been selected among 100 schools from across the globe to showcase their best practices and promote a higher and better standard of education for all during the ongoing World Education Week, the NGO announced in a press release on Tuesday.
T4, a global forum dedicated to teachers’ development, is holding this event electronically owing to Covid-19 pandemic from 5 to 9 October. The selected schools will host an event each during the week and those will be streamed live around the world.
On the inaugural day, BRAC held a one-hour session titled “Making schools more resilient to climate change” on Vati Jamalgor BRAC Primary Boat School—a boat-school that became the classroom for the children of the low lying haor area of Tahirpur in Sunamganj.
“A gem of an innovation in educating children in remote areas, a boat school showcases the idea of reaching education to those who cannot go to schools and risk dropping out. A total of 600 such boat schools are currently operating in 16 low-lying districts across the country and teachers of all these schools are local females who teach 30 students in each class,” the statement reads.
State Minister for Primary And Mass Education Zakir Hossen inaugurated Monday’s (5 October) showcasing event. Mahbuba Nasrin, professor and director of University of Dhaka’s Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability Studies, and Dr Safiqul Islam, director of BRAC Education Programme, joined the event moderated by BRAC director Nobonita Chowdhury.
Addressing the event, Zakir Hossen emphasised students’ usual movement and environment of sharing with their classmates.
He said, “The impact of Covid-19 restrictions has gone beyond affecting classroom learning as school closures limit children’s interaction with others, playing in the field, moving freely and coming into contact with teachers and enjoying the overall school environment. Such a situation could potentially lead to stigma or prejudice.”
Prof Mahbuba Nasrin explained how these boat schools personify the idea of climate resilience.
“BRAC has gone with the no-plastic policy and this is one of the several climate-resilient habits that the boat schools also adopted. The students of this school are aware of recycling, reduce, and reuse. Even the schools incorporate regional curriculum and climate change and environmental education material to make the students ready for combating the consequences of climate change and transforming toward a sustainable future,” she said.
Noting that the school system usually addresses the wellbeing holistically, BRAC director Safiqul Islam said the boat schools ensure different dimensions of students’ wellbeing such as physical, intellectual, social-emotional, and environmental wellbeing.
Speakers emphasised how the students of boat schools adapt to complete their five-year primary education within four years without compromising any content, competency, or quality. They also explained how the idea of boat schools can assist the spread of education in a world affected by climate change.
Kandapara Poshchim BRAC Primary School and Sauderosri BRAC Primary School are two other BRAC schools selected for World Education Week.