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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Behind the astonishing transformation of 211 primary schools 

  • Students are provided with hands-on agricultural education
  • Nearly 60,000 students benefiting from the School Feeding Program funded by the WFP
  • Students and their parents are happy to learn about vegetable cultivation
Update : 19 Mar 2024, 09:18 AM

The school buildings have been decorated with colours, and the front yards now grow flowers and vegetables. Moreover, the students are given vitamin-enriched biscuits every afternoon, and their school attendance is on the rise. 

This is what is seen at 211 primary schools in three upazilas of Cox’s Bazar, where students are provided with hands-on agricultural education. In this way, nearly 60,000 students are benefiting from the School Feeding Program funded by the World Food Organization (WFP).

The program is being implemented jointly by the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education and the Directorate of Primary Education in Ukhiya, Teknaf and Kutubdia. This has brought a lot of changes to these institutions.

Under the School Feeding Program, these institutions have been provided with libraries in classrooms and health care facilities. These students are now able to inform their parents about the changes and learning at their respective institutions. 

The image shows the students of a school in Cox`s Bazar. Photo: Dhaka Tribune

Afnan Jannat Afrin, a class V student of Kamriarbil Government Primary School in Ukhiya, spoke to Dhaka Tribune. Besides studying at the school, she shares health care information with her neighbours, tells them how to take deworming tablets, control high blood pressure, and what to do during cold or inclement weather.

Rezaul Karim, a class IV student of Jaliapalong Government Primary School in Ukhiya, said he now has a good idea about vegetable cultivation in the school yard. He learned about vegetable cultivation himself and went home and built a small vegetable farm near his house with the help of his parents.

A girl student is learning agricultural work at a primary school in Cox`s Bazar. Photo: Dhaka Tribune

His school headmaster, Md Abu Taher, said that in order to improve the quality of education, special training has been given to school teachers and management committee officials. The attendance of students has also increased due to the provision of various facilities in the school.

School managing committee Vice President Abul Kasem Babul said: "Because of the implementation of the program, the school is now clean and tidy. From school teachers to students, the quality of and interest in education have increased. Other government primary schools should also be brought under this scheme.”

The School Feeding Program was initiated in Pekua and Maheshkhali in 2010. At present, the project is being implemented in 211 schools in Ukhiya, Teknaf and Kutubdia. 

The image shows a school in Cox`s Bazar. Photo: Dhaka Tribune

Two non-governmental organizations, under the direction of the Directorate of Primary Education, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, are implementing this project. 

WFP's Program Associate Mohammad Azaharul Islam said: “The objective of this project is to improve the quality of education by increasing the attendance of students in schools.”

Apart from studying in school at a young age, the students and their parents are happy to learn about vegetable cultivation in the school yard, healthcare, and the library facilities, he added.

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