Bangladesh receives grant to help 19.5 million children complete primary schooling

January 8, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

By

Sheuli Akter

The Bangladeshi Government has signed an agreement with the World Bank for a 100 million U.S. dollar grant from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) for the ongoing Third Primary Education Development Program (PEDP3).

The financing agreement has been signed on Tuesday by Kazi Shofiqul Azam and Iffath Sharif, on behalf of the government of Bangladesh and the World Bank respectively, said a press release.

The grant will help 19.5 million children in primary school to receive primary education and complete grade 5.

“The World Bank has been a long standing partner of Bangladesh in the education sector. PEDP3 and its predecessor programs have been designed to ensure that every primary school-age child in Bangladesh is able to come to school, receive quality education, and complete the primary school cycle,” said Iffath Sharif, acting World Bank country head for Bangladesh.

The number of primary schools receiving textbooks within the first month of the school year has increased from 32 percent in 2010 to over 90 percent in 2014. The program also ensures merit-based teacher recruitment and will fill in vacant positions, according to the release.

The government has recently introduced a university-level diploma in primary education as part of a comprehensive Teacher Education Development Plan. “PEDP3 contributes to realize the government’s vision of ‘Education for all’,” Kazi Shofiqul Azam, additional secretary of Bangladesh’s Economic Relations Division, said.

Through this grant, the Global Partnership for Education joins the World Bank and nine development partners who already support PEDP3, a government-led program. With the $100 million grant, the PEDP3 program stands now at $9.9 billion, the release added.

The World Bank’s current contribution to the program is $700 million. “Pre-primary and early primary education are key to getting children ready for a successful school life,” said Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Partnership for Education.

“Our $100 million grant will help strengthen Bangladesh’s education system and support the Government to ensure equal access and learning for all children and reduce the number of out of school children. In this context it will also be important to strengthen the collaboration with civil society organizations,” she added.

Established in 2002 as the Education For All Fast Track Initiative, the Global Partnership has evolved into an independently governed partnership of governments, civil society, multilateral organizations, private sector and foundations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheuli Akter

Sheuli Akter, from Bangladesh, is a Special Correspondent and Editor of NsNewsWire, (Bangladesh’s First Press Newswire).  Previously she had worked for Bangladesh’ top news agency, United News of Bangladesh (UNB) and top newspaper (now defunct) The Bangladesh Observer. She also gained an honourable mention in the first ever World Media Summit WMS Awards for ‘Exemplary News Professionals in Developing Countries’, receiving the award in Beijing in January 2015.

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