As the pandemic has heightened the risks of dropping out from schools, many children from poor families in major cities and youths in Cox’s Bazar will be provided with learning opportunities and skills training.
Around 39,000 slum children will be supported to complete primary education and 8,500 school-dropped out youths will be given pre-vocational training under enhanced activities of a special project.
The World Bank (WB) signed a $6.5 million agreement with the government of Bangladesh on Monday to provide additional financing to ‘Second Reaching Out of School Children (ROSC II) Project’.
“The pandemic has disproportionately impacted the education of children from the poor households,” WB Country Director Mercy Tembon said, adding, “The additional financing will help the slum children and the vulnerable youths build the foundations for better opportunities.”
The project will support poor children aged between 8-14 years in eight city corporations to complete primary education cycle, said a WB news release.
This, it added, will also help vulnerable out-of-school local youth and adolescents in Cox’s Bazar to complete three-month courses in pre-vocational and enterprise development training.
About 690,000 children—almost half of them are girls— studied in the learning centres called Ananda Schools in the poorest upazilas (sub-districts), said the WB release.
It mentioned that the project has set up around 1,300 learning centres in slums of eight city corporations, including Dhaka, where about 48,000 children are enrolled.
At Ananda Schools, a single class teacher teaches the students until they are ready for the Grade V examination, allowing the poor children to proceed to the secondary schools.
“The Bangladesh government is committed to ensuring education for all. Today, almost all children in Bangladesh step into schools,” said Fatima Yasmin, Secretary at the government’s Economic Relations Division.
Since 2019, the release said, the ROSC II project expanded its coverage to provide learning opportunities and psycho-social support to about 350,000 Rohingya children in Teknaf and Ukhiaupazila in Cox’s Bazar.
Furthermore, some 16,500 Bangladeshi youths have received skills training and job placement support, it mentioned.
The financing agreement was signed by Fatima Yasmin and Mercy Tembon on behalf of the government and the World Bank.