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Basic Education for the Hard to Reach Urban Children (BEHTRUC) in Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Barisal and Sylhet

The first phase of the “Basic Education for the Hard to Reach Urban Children” (BEHTRUC) pilot project ran from 1996 to 2003 and aimed to provide 351,000 working children with two years of schooling. In this period more than six thousands learning centres have been opened in small rooms in the slums of Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Barisal and Sylhet. UNICEF provided technical and financial support to the project, which also received funds from the Government of Bangladesh, DFID and SIDA. Recognizing that it was not possible to abolish child labour in Bangladesh immediately, the project adopted a “learn and earn” approach. A Directorate of Non-Formal Education (DNFE) sub-contracted NGOS to established thousands of learning centres in areas where large numbers of working children either lived or worked. By providing these children with access to two hours of schooling each day, using modular, flexible teaching learning strategies and by involving the local community (including parents and employers) in running learning centres, the project hoped to pave the way for their eventual escape from child labour. Costs were kept low so that the project could be sustainable and replicable. The project relied on strong partnerships, particularly with NGOs, and with the ILO, as well as relevant, verifiable data that included social mapping and community-based assessment of actual needs. It incorporated institutionalized monitoring to respond to new problems as they emerged and involved employers and parents in the management, monitoring and advocacy of the Centres. Quality training and support for teachers and supervisors included child development, gender, rights, and working with guardians and employers. Teaching methods were responsive to the realities of the lives of working children. This inter-sectoral approach to a complex issue included a clearly defined communications and social mobilization strategy.

The good outcomes achieved encouraged a seconde phase of the BEHTRUC project, which started in July 2004 and will continue until 2011. In this period, 6,646 additional learning centres have been opened in the above mentioned cities; 166,150 urban working children are receiving life-skills based basic education and about 20,000 of these children will have the opportunity to receive marketable livelihood skills training at the end of the third year of Primary Education (Bangladeshi 5-years first cycle of schooling).

For more information: http://www.unicef.org/bangladesh/index.html

 

Basic Education for the Hard to Reach Urban Childen in Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Barisal and Sylhet
Launched in 1996, the Hard to Reach pilot project is specifically designed to provide 351,000 working children with two years of schooling by 2003. Since 1997, more than six thousands learning centres have been opened in small rooms in the slums of Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Barisal and Sylhet. UNICEF provides technical and financial support to the project, which also receives funds from the Government of Bangladesh, DFID and SIDA. Recognizing that it is not possible to abolish child labour in Bangladesh immediately, the project adopts a “learn and earn” approach. A Directorate of Non-Formal Education (DNFE) sub-contracts NGOS to established thousands of learning centres in areas where large numbers of working children either lived or worked. By providing these children with access to two hours of schooling each day, using modular, flexible teaching learning strategies and by involving the local community (including parents and employers) in running learning centres, the project hopes to pave the way for their eventual escape from child labour. Costs are kept low so that the project can be sustainable and replicable. The project relies on strong partnerships, particularly with NGOs, and with the ILO, as well as relevant, verifiable data that includes social mapping and community-based assessment of actual needs. It incorporates institutionalized monitoring to respond to new problems as they emerge and involves employers and parents in the management, monitoring and advocacy of the Centres. Quality training and support for teachers and supervisors includes child development, gender, rights, and working with guardians and employers. Teaching methods are responsive to the realities of the lives of working children. This inter-sectoral approach to a complex issue includes a clearly defined communications and social mobilization strategy.

Contact
Ruby Q Noble, Project Officer
UNICEF Bangladesh Country Office
P.O. Box 58
Dhaka – 1000
People’s Republic of Bangladesh
Telephone: (8802) 933.6701
Fax: 933.5641
E-mail: jkukita@unicef.org