EU education project in Bangladesh
There are approx. 19 million primary school-aged children in Bangladesh – one of the largest student populations in a developing country. Around three million children (half of them girls) miss out on state primary education as a result of poverty. Only an estimated 9.4 per cent of slum areas have primary schools within their reach.
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In total, the European Union contributes about 130 million Euros to support primary education in Bangladesh. This includes 105 million going to the Bangladeshi government to support the formal education sector over seven years (2004 – 2010) and 27 million going to support non-formal schooling over four years (2006-2010).
The EU-funded non formal primary education projects are on track to provide education to around 320,000 children in approximately 10,000 schools. Given that girls are a particularly disadvantaged group, they are favored to benefit from this project and make up about 192,000 of the children.
In many urban slums and rural villages where non-formal learning centres operate, there are no other schools at all. They often provide the only opportunity for poor children to complete primary education.
The small classes, female role models and creative approach of the non-formal learning centres make the schools attractive to girls and are ideal for children with learning difficulties. The fact that they are closely monitored means they are less likely to drop out. An estimated 90 per cent of these children go on to secondary school.