WB helps Bangladesh provide education, skills training to poor children, youths

The government on Monday signed a $6.5 million financing agreement with the World Bank to enable around 39,000 slum children complete primary education as well as provide pre-vocational training to 8,500 youths in Cox’s Bazar who dropped out of school.

This additional financing to the Second Reaching Out of School Children (ROSC II) Project will support poor children aged between 8 and 14 years in eight city corporations to complete primary education cycle.

It will help the vulnerable out-of-school local youth and adolescents in Cox’s Bazar to complete three-month courses in pre-vocational and enterprise development training.

“The pandemic has disproportionately impacted the education of children from the poor households,” said Mercy Tembon, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.

She said the additional financing will help the slum children and vulnerable youths build the foundations for better opportunities.

About 690,000 children — almost half of them girls — studied in the learning centres, known as Ananda Schools in the poorest Upazilas.

The project has also set up around 1,300 Learning Centres in slums of eight city corporations, including Dhaka, where about 48,000 children are enrolled.

At Ananda Schools, a single class teacher teaches the students until they are ready for the Grade 5 examination, allowing the poor children to proceed to secondary schools.

“Bangladesh government is committed to ensuring education for all. Today, almost all children in Bangladesh steps into a school,” said Fatima Yasmin, Secretary at the Economic Relations Division.

Since 2019, the ROSC II project expanded its coverage to provide learning opportunities and psycho-social support to about 350,000 Rohingya children in Teknaf and Ukhiya Upazila in Cox’s Bazar.

Further, 16,500 Bangladeshi youths have received skills training and job placement support.

The agreement was signed by Fatima Yasmin and Mercy Tembon on behalf of the Government and the World Bank, respectively.

The credit from the World Bank’s International Development Association, has a 30-year term, including a five-year grace period.

Source: United News of Bangladesh