This is an excerpt taken from a speech given by Tamara Hasan Abed, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees and BRAC University at the university's 14th Convocation - the first one since the COVID-19 pandemic - on 27 January 2022. Scroll below to watch the video.
Childrens’ wellbeing is connected to their learning, and their ability to nurture meaningful relationships in their early years. Children's brains are extremely active in the early years, and the connections they make become the building blocks of their future. A good foundation makes a difference through adulthood.
Dr Safiqul Islam spent 30 years building BRAC’s education programme. He joined BRAC in 1987, as a spirited young patriot who wanted to change his country, and, through his work with BRAC and Bangladesh’s education sector, he did. Bangladesh’s education sector has undergone significant transformation during the last three decades, and Dr Islam was a driving force behind them. Dr Islam worked tirelessly to materialise Sir Fazle Hasan Abed’s vision of a world free of inequality, through inspiring education practitioners across the world to get education to every child.
Bangladesh has a remarkable primary education enrolment rate – 97.97%, but 18.85% of students drop out before completion. Drop-out rates are even higher in urban informal settlements, hard-to-reach areas, such as haor (wetlands) and char (riverine islands). BRAC is seeing significant improvements in drop-out rates through the implementation of its Bridge Schools initiative – specially-designed, accelerated programmes to bridge learning gaps and support children to complete primary education
This year’s World Youth Skills Day is about “reimagining Youth Skills Post-Pandemic”. The skill sets for the youth are often changing and just as Bob Dylan had once prophesied, the old road (to development) is rapidly aging, and the new generation is adapting and thriving.
Bangladesh has four million child brides, the second-highest in the world. More than half of all married women now in their twenties were married before the age of 18. At BRAC, tackling this challenge is one of our highest priorities. Here is a snapshot of how we are trying to change the futures of girl children.
Ahead of this week’s selection panel of ‘Sir Fazle Hasan Abed Ashoka Young Changemakers’ we’d like to take a moment to share about the deep roots of Sir Fazle and BRAC’s long-standing relation with Ashoka.
BRAC along with BRAC Institute of Governance and Development conducted the Youth Survey with a sample size of 4,200 youth, making it nationally representative, and allowing to understand the current status of youth in Bangladesh.