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Our girls deserve room to read, learn, and grow

  • Published at 03:40 pm October 27th, 2018
Girl child day
Phjoto: Syed Zakir Hossain

Room to Read and DSHE organize Experience Sharing and Consultation program at Bangla Academy

With ‘International Day of the Girl Child’ passing us on October 11, the question that arises is, “What is being done for our girls?” 

On October 25, an event organized by Room to Read Bangladesh and Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) Bangladesh shed light on the situation. The event, titled Experience Sharing and Consultation, was directed towards increasing female admissions in schools and keeping our girls engaged in education. Ms Nasima Begum ndc, Secretary of The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, inaugurated the event as the chief guest. Ms Kazi Rowshan Akhter, Director General (Additional Secretary), Department of Women Affairs attended the event as a special guest.

Experience Sharing and Consultation focused on the lack of equitable access to public vocational training, apprenticeship programs and other job-training programs for girls. These three factors are key determinants in positioning girls in the tertiary sector and emerging markets. 

While there is a direct relation between the number of girls receiving access to these resources and a rise in GDP, Room to Read Bangladesh emphasized the importance of self-worth and dignity in educational empowerment. Till date, they have supported over 4286 girls in Dhaka, Natore, Srirajgunj. In the higher secondary exams, the success rate for Room to Read girls was 93.7 percent, which is higher than the national pass rate of 66.64 percent. They will soon begin working in Cox’s Bazar as well. 

Government action

The Secretary of The Ministry of Women and Children Affairs stated that the government of Bangladesh has established 4880 ‘Kishori Clubs’, (clubs for girls). These clubs aim to develop girls both mentally and physically for the marketplace. 

She was proud to note that our girls are contributing to sports - especially cricket, football and volleyball. She also commended Room to Read on their efforts to empower women and children through combatting child-marriage. 

“The government has provided learning materials in order to bring the science education sector up-to-date. These materials have been distributed in approximately 10,000 secondary schools amongst 20,000 secondary schools,” stated Dr Mohammed Jahangir Hossain, Director (Planning and Development), DSHE. He further mentioned that stipends have been provided for female children.

Presently, 53 percent female minors are studying at the secondary level and at least 33 percent of them are expected to contribute to the national economy—as affirmed by Professor Mohammad Shamsul Huda, Director General (in routine charge), DSHE. He has committed to making structural reforms in order to ensure secondary schools are more female-friendly as well as assigning one teacher per school for children with special needs.