Communities across the globe are connected through the power of information and technology. Consumption patterns have been altered and traditional ways of working disrupted. How does this play out in the development sector?
BRAC is currently the hub of the world's largest non-government network of community health workers. Across Bangladesh, this network of 50,000 women are taking essential healthcare to the doorsteps of families and reaching the last mile, standing by 80 million people every year.
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.
80% of the four million workers employed in Bangladesh's garment factories in 2012 were women, mostly coming from marginalised backgrounds. This number has significantly declined over the last decade. Why are women leaving jobs at the factories, and what can be done about it?
Schools in Bangladesh reopen this week after the world’s longest shutdown. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, BRAC was providing education for almost 750,000 students. During the extended closure, it continued teaching remotely, and ensured that close to 620,000 students graduated from their courses. The remaining students continued learning remotely and, after planning for reopening for months, BRAC opened its doors to 129,000 students this week. Amidst dire predictions of learning loss globally, it is quietly optimistic that its innovative measures to continue learning, combined with a rigorous approach to remediation will get its students back on track.
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
Bangladesh is home to over 50 indigenous groups. They speak over 35 languages and comprise over 1.8% of the population. 80% live in the plainlands in northern Bangladesh and the rest live in the south, in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. BRAC’s indigenous project has been working with indigenous people living in plainlands in Bangladesh for nine years now, and has learnt valuable lessons on what works.
The Global Education Summit convenes this week in London, gathering in virtual or hybrid form. It offers an extraordinary chance for the world community to focus on the vital role of education in transforming lives.