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Bangladesh: Newsline

600,000 Bangladesh children guaranteed a decent education

The UK will guarantee that 600,000 of the poorest children in Bangladesh can continue to access decent pre-school and primary education through a new £18.5 million UKaid grant announced today.

The grant is an emergency package which will ensure schools across the country can stay open as a major education project faces a funding shortfall.

DFID's support will keep 25,000 non-formal schools open and 25,000 teachers in their jobs for the duration of the school year, helping 600,000 children receive pre-school and primary education.  It will also help older children by making sure 2,500 after school clubs for teenagers, 100 community centres and 150 secondary schools stay open.

The funds will go through BRAC – a well established Bangladeshi non-government organisation that provides schools, teachers and after-school clubs for millions of children in Bangladesh.  Founded in 1972, BRAC also provides healthcare, legal and other services to poor communities across Bangladesh, complementing Government services. 

DFID funding will ensure continuity of schooling for Bangladesh’s children - without these funds, many schools would have to close due to a funding shortfall caused by the economic downturn.

Announcing the grant, International Development Minster Mike Foster said:

‘Without the UK’s help, schools across Bangladesh would be forced to close and teachers would lose their jobs because of the global financial crisis. This would have a disastrous effect on children’s education and future prospects.
‘The UK’s grant will guarantee that hundreds of thousands of boys and girls  will continue to get the decent education they deserve and give them the chance of a brighter future.’

Improving education is a vital step to fight poverty in Bangladesh.  67 million adults in Bangladesh are illiterate, 42 million of which are women.  Less than two thirds of children complete five years of basic education and three million children in total still have no access to education.

Through the BRAC education project, the UK and other donors have already provided primary education to more than a million children and two million pre-school children.  65 per cent of children helped were girls.


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