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Re: FW: EDUCATION-BANGLADESH: Impressive Progress Since Jomtien

Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
Thanks, Maja.

I like 2 things here (among others):

1.	The teachers are recruited from the local community

2.	A school day is only three hours, and six days a week. The timings are
decided by the parents, who tailor-make the school calendar to suit the
interest of the community.

BTW, the IPI manifesto is almost entirely on the same lines. Parent choice
and control. But, how, may I again ask, is this related in ANY way to:

> Following on its Jomtien commitment, Bangladesh made primary
> education compulsory under law in 1990. 

Kly send copy of Bangladesh law on compulsion since you advocate it so
vigorously. I want to see why you advocate compulsion and arrest and
torture of parents while being a human rights champion. BTW, my wife Smita
studied child labour in Bangladesh in the last few years and it was
published as, "Child Labour in Bangladesh" (joint publication) in
International Journal of Technical Cooperation, 4 (1), Summer, 1998. I'll
try to put it up on the IPI web site. There has been NO effect of this
compulsion of education on massively prevalant child labour, as far as my
recollection of that article goes. 

The burden is squarely on you to prove that compulsion serves any purpose
whatsoever. I need a very specific answer, a specific philosophical
underpinning, a specific pathway to higher levels of education, and greater


> -----Original Message-----
> From: debra@oln.comlink.apc.org [mailto:debra@oln.comlink.apc.org] 
> Sent: 14 January 2000 15:41
> To: majadhun@giasdl01.vsnl.net.in
> Subject: EDUCATION-BANGLADESH: Impressive Progress Since Jomtien
> Edited/Distributed by HURINet - The Human Rights Information Network
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> Title: EDUCATION-BANGLADESH: Impressive Progress Since
> Jomtien
> By Tabibul Islam
> DHAKA, Jan 7 (IPS) - Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
> have created schools with flexible hours, a relevant
> curriculum, motivated teachers, and community support to
> take non-formal education to the poorest of poor villager in
> Bangladesh.
> This South Asian country has some of the best known NGOs in
> the world, and their outstanding achievements in community
> development are widely acclaimed.
> Some 500 NGOs are actively involved in the non-formal
> education sector alone, running some 60,000 non-formal
> primary schools which have more than two million children on
> their rolls -- half of them girls.
> Among the big NGOs is BRAC or the Bangladesh Rural
> Advancement Committee which has since 1972 fought against
> malnutrition, illiteracy, disease, population growth, and
> unemployment in the villages of Bangladesh.
> It launched an education programme in 1985 with the
> objective of providing ''basic literacy and numeracy'' to
> children between eight and 10 years. Now over 70 percent of
> its students are girls, and the majority of teachers are
> women.
> BRAC's network of non-formal village schools reach out to
> more than one million students. Its schools have no more
> than 30 children each who must live within a radius of 2
> kms. The teachers are recruited from the local community,
> and paid an honorarium of the taka equivalent of 11 dollars
> every month.
> To be appointed a BRAC school teacher, candidates must have
> studied up to class nine. But in fact most BRAC teachers are
> graduates who are put through an intensive 16-day training
> course immediately after they join the school. Further they
> have to attend refresher courses at frequent intervals to
> improve their teaching skills.
> The school buildings are traditional structures, built with
> thatch. They are equipped with black-boards, charts, work
> books and other teaching material. Tuition is free for
> students who are given stationary and books by the school.
> A school day is only three hours, and six days a week. The
> timings are decided by the parents, who tailor-make the
> school calendar to suit the interest of the community. Most
> BRAC schools close in the harvest season when all hands are
> required on the land.
> At the insistence of local communities, BRAC introduced pre-
> school courses in its rural schools for the first time last
> year. Some 1,400 of its schools are able to enroll
> pre-school children.
> ''There has been a tremendous response from parents to the
> opening of a pre-school course,'' said Tajul Islam, director
> communications of BRAC. ''A nominal fee is charged.''
> Large NGOs in Bangladesh, which are akin to corporate
> houses, ascribe their phenomenal growth to the demand for
> their services from the people they work among, particularly
> rural women who are determined to improve their children's
> lives, if not their own.
> ''Today the presence of more girls in primary schools is
> perhaps the result of the awareness among rural women,''
> said an NGO executive who did not wish to be identified.
> The results are reflected in the gross enrollment in primary
> schools, both government and NGO run, which had increased to
> 95.58 percent in 1997 from 76 percent in 1991, as a result
> of the commitment made by Bangladesh to meet the 'Education
> for All' or EFA goal at Jomtien, Thailand in 1990.
> During the same period Bangladesh made impressive progress
> in narrowing the gender gap. The enrollment figure for boys
> was 97 percent and for girls, 94.11 percent, when the EFA
> target for 1997 was only 82 percent for boys and 79 percent
> for girls.
> ''Attainment of gender parity in primary education is a
> remarkable achievement of bangladesh,'' said James Jennings,
> chief of the education section of UNICEF in Bangladesh.
> ''There is, however, no room for complacency. Efforts must
> continue in bringing more girls and boys to schools.
> Education helps acquire skills and skills are an important
> factor for gainful employment and empowerment,'' he added.
> By the year 2000, the government was committed to raise the
> gross enrollment figure to 95 percent for both sexes and 94
> percent for girls -- a target it has already achieved,
> thanks mainly to the NGOs in non-formal education.
> ''Because of their flexible operation that match with pupils
> needs and availability and close link with the community,
> attendance is usually high and completion around 90
> percent,'' a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
> report concluded.
> Following on its Jomtien commitment, Bangladesh made primary
> education compulsory under law in 1990. In 1992, a new
> primary and mass education division was created under the
> direct charge of the prime minister.
> The special focus on education has raised literacy figures
> in the country, to 57 percent from 35 percent in 1991.
> ''Bangladesh is expected to achieve 85 to 86 percent
> literacy by 2002,'' Saadat Hussain, secretary, Primary and
> Mass Education Division has said.
> But the government has still not showcased its achievements
> in a country report, which should have been submitted to the
> upcoming Education for All meeting in Bangkok. The blame for
> this is put on the bureaucracy. Said an NGO observer, ''it
> unfortunately reflects a lack of commitment which is not
> so.'' (END/IPS/ti/an/00)

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