Brac’s floating school recognised as an inspiring global innovation
The announcement was made on October 4 at an event held at Helsinki, the capital of Finland
News Desk: BRAC’s Boat School, has been chosen as at one of the 100 most innovative education projects around the world. The project is the only one from Bangladesh to be selected in the “100 Global Inspiring Innovations of 2017” list by HundrED, a Finish global non-profit that seeks and share inspiring innovations in K12 (kindergarten to grade 12) education worldwide.
The announcement was made on October 4 at an event held at Helsinki, the capital of Finland. They wanted to find organisations that were addressing educational a problem from a new perspective, if they provided real impact, and if they could work somewhere else and scale.
What’s so special about the boat school?
Bangladesh is a delta that has a confluence of 700 rivers and tributaries, making it vulnerable to month long flooding, especially in the low lying areas.
Brac, a non-government NGO set up the boat school called “Shikkha Tori” in an attempt to address this exact problem where children from flooded areas cannot go to school sometimes for months on end. The school comes to pick up the children and they not only learn from textbooks but also get their extra curricular education like dancing and singing.
Around 500 such schools, set up under Brac’s Education Programme, are providing primary education to children in the Haor areas in all six divisions where there is no government primary schools nearby areas.
These schools provide also teach children about nature, health, nutrition and personal hygiene, for a more holistic approach to education.
The schools uses textbooks developed by Brac for grades I-III, while grades IV-V receive textbooks from the National Curriculum and Textbook Board.
Each of these 400 square feet boat school can accommodate 30 children and are equipped with toilets and hand-washing facilities, while safe drinking water is also provided for students.
Brac’s boat schools were first introduced in the haors of north-eastern Bangladesh in 2011 to as a solution to very high dropout rates.
Currently, 500 boats schools teaching a total of 13,589 students are now in operation in Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Rajshahi, Rangpur and Sylhet, according to data from Brac.
As of September 2017, a total of 8,057 female students and 5,532 male students are enrolled at these floating classrooms.
1.The one-teacher school is operated by the same teacher who provides education for a period of four years and delivers lessons in all subjects
2.The school hours are flexible and are fixed according to needs
3.It free of cost
4.Up to class three, Brac developed textbooks are taught while NCTB textbooks are used for grade 4 and 5.
5.Engine operated boat schools are of 42 feet in length, 10.5 feet in width and 6.2 feet by height.
6.There are 10 big windows for light and air circulation. There is also a bathroom and drinking water in each school.
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