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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

British envoy visits Brac school in Sylhet

  • Focus on girls' education emphasized
  • 16,000 students completed Brac’s EMDC project
  • 12,500 currently enrolled
Update : 23 Aug 2023, 06:15 PM

Newly appointed British High Commissioner Sarah Cooke visited Sylhet for the first time on Wednesday as a part of her mission and visited Brac school beside Lakkatura Tea Garden.

During the visit, officials from the British High Commission accompanied the high commissioner while Brac Education, Skills Development and Migration Program Director Safi Rahman Khan, Brac Education Program Head Profulla Chandra Barman, along with head office and field staff were present from Brac, reads a press release.  

The high commissioner observed the class in the Brac school and talked to the students about their experiences and feeling regarding getting back to school. 

Sarah Cooke shared her greetings with the teacher, staff, parents, and school management committee members and discussed the ongoing activities of the school.

Cooke expressed her contentment stating: “It was great to meet with the students and their parents who work at the tea plantations in Sylhet. It was clear to see that education is transformative, not just for the individual but also for the community.”

“The UK is proud to support education for the most disadvantaged children in Bangladesh, with a particular focus on girls,” she added. 

Safi Rahman Khan conveyed his greetings to the envoy and said: “We are honoured to have welcomed Sarah Cooke to Brac's education program in the tea gardens of Sylhet to see first-hand the important work we are doing in partnership with the UK government.”

“All of us in the education sector have a responsibility to ensure that children living in poverty, particularly girls and children with disabilities, are not excluded from their right to education,” he said. 

“Our accelerated schools are already delivering significant benefits, and Sarah Cooke's visit will inspire and motivate our students, teachers, parents, and staff,” he added. 

Due to the unprecedented outbreak of Covid-19, all schools in Bangladesh were forced to shut down for 18 months, bringing traditional classroom teaching and learning to a standstill, the press release said.  

The prolonged shutdown caused significant learning losses for children, putting them at risk of dropping out and further swelling the ranks of an already sizable community of out-of-school children (OoSC), it added.  

The press release further said that the "Educate the Most Disadvantaged Children in Bangladesh (EMDC)" project of the Brac Education Program (BEP), supported by the UK government, is providing expedited primary education to OoSC from disadvantaged communities. 

The project's accelerated model includes a 4-month catch-up component (the bridge course) to help students recover their previous learning, it said.  

This is followed by a 6-month accelerated course with grade-specific learning, after which students transition to formal schools in the next grade, the press release added. 

According to the press release, The EMDC project is now in its second year, with more than 16,000 students having already completed the accelerated course from 650 Brac schools. 

Additionally, 12,500 more students are currently enrolled in 500 more Brac schools, it said.  

It is estimated that over the project’s lifetime, a total of 147,500 OoSC will receive accelerated model education for 10 months through approximately 5,900 one-room schools, it added.

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