A second chance at education
Over the past 29 years, the number of BPS has grown exponentially. We started working in 1985, opening 22 one-room schools and providing three years of schooling up to class 3, which was later extended to class 5. The main objective of non-formal primary schools is to develop a school model for the underprivileged and primary school dropout children, especially girls, to complete the five-year primary school syllabus in four years.
BRAC also works with other development organisations to expand education opportunities for disadvantaged children by partnering with them and providing them with technical and financial support to implement BRAC’s non-formal primary education model with changes as needed. These collaboration activities are called education support programmes.
- The one-teacher school is operated by the same teacher for the same cohort of children for a period of four years and delivers lessons in all subjects
- The school hours are flexible and fixed according to needs
- Children do not pay any fees and there are no long holidays
- Little or no homework as most of their parents are not capable of assisting them
- Children with special needs receive corrective surgeries along with devices like wheelchairs, hearing aids, glasses and ramps
- Children belonging to ethnic communities receive class lectures and course materials in their own languages up to class 2 so that they can overcome language barriers and cultural gaps
- BRAC develops textbooks and other materials for up to class 3 and government textbooks are used in classes 4 and 5
- Students are taught about social values and their rights and responsibilities coupled with basic financial education to empower them
- BRAC primary school graduates are being tracked by BRAC for further study
Mechanism to ensure quality of teaching
A typical BRAC teacher is a woman from the community in which the school is, with 10 years of schooling experience. Teachers undergo an initial 12-day training course in order to repeat basic information on teaching and learning and to enhance their teaching abilities. They subsequently participate in monthly, subject-based refresher courses and yearly orientation prior to advancing to the next class. In collaboration with BRAC University’s Centre for Language (CfL), BRAC provides a two-month long (21 days each) teacher training programme in English to the teachers.
What is the linkage with the government education system?
Bangladesh government has allowed BPS students to appear for Primary Education Terminal Examination which is a fundamental board examination that takes place at the end of class 5.
The effectiveness of this programme was evident when the graduates of the non-formal schools were well ahead of the country average when it came to passing grade for the primary school examination - 97 per cent success rate in 2009, and 99.54 per cent in 2010.
How do we track graduates at secondary schools?
BRAC experienced that its graduates admitted in secondary schools often cannot complete their education due to many critical circumstances. We started the ‘tracking of BRAC graduates at secondary schools’ programme to ensure their enrolment at the secondary level, promote regular attendance, reduce dropout rate so that they successfully complete the course.
BRAC is also regularly in touch with secondary school authorities and other organisations to manage scholarships and full/half free education for BPS graduates.
a. Shikkha Tari: Boat School
b. School for dropped out children
c. Performing and fine arts
d. Total learning experience (TLE)
e. School for street children
f. Social and emotional learning (SEL)
h. Mobile library for BRAC Primary Schools
i. Interactive digital content in primary education
j. Kumon mathematics at BRAC schools
14,153 primary schools
389,910 students, of whom 62.17% are girls
5.3 million students completed courses to date, of which 60.43% are girls
5.55 million students transferred to formal schools to date, of which 60.12% are girls
Innovative Steps Towards Primary Education in Haor Area
Akhi studies hard to be a teacher.
Alam, a Non-formal Primary School Student, Now Runs His Own.