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Education is one of the pre-conditions for human and social development and it is a basic human right. Unfortunately, the people of our country are still suffering from the curse of illiteracy. BEES believes that as soon as the people of our country will ascend on the educational ladder, economic and political stability will be restored and; as a consequence, a just society will be established.


Internalizing the fact, BEES started its Education Program back in 1984 through providing Functional Education (FE) to its group members. BEES’s FE course was designed to provide literacy and numericy along with general knowledge, skills and values to the target beneficiaries through functional and basic education. The course used by BEES had been developed by BRAC. It contained a need based, problem solving approach. The FE classes have proved to be an excellent forum for group information and motivation.


In 1996, BEES started imparting Non-Formal Primary Education (NFPE) by establishing a total of 20 NFPE school in rural, semi-urban and urban areas. The NFPE experimental schools had been piloted by BEES with its own efforts and BEES had been able to establish more than 200 NFPE schools with the financial assistance from World University Service of Canada (WUSC)-CIDA along with BEES’s own fund. Through the NFPE schools, BEES offers an opportunity for education to the children of poor landless families within the program intervention areas who either have never been enrolled in a formal school or have been dropped out.


In addition, BEES provides an opportunity for education to the urban poor adolescents within the program areas. In 1998, BEES started implementation of its Non-Formal Education (NFE) course by operating a network of 120 NFE centers with the financial support from the Government of Bangladesh. Till now, BEES has already established a total of 435 centers enrolling 13,050 learners.


Recently, BEES has started primary education program called Hard to Reach (HTR) to provide access to the working children with basic rights to primary education, especially who do not have the family support or whose families are dysfunctional. So far, a total of 45 HTR schools have been established by BEES.


Apart from these, BEES has been working on ILO-USDOL project for the labor children especially who are working in tanneries entitled “BEES-WFCL” program and Post Literacy and Continuing Education for Human Development (PLCEHD) project with support from Bangladesh government through operating 3 and 15 educational centers respectively.




To supplement national efforts towards building an illiteracy-free society, which ultimately helps the poor; and to empower themselves to come out of poverty.




BEES was supposed to establish and operate a total of 175 NFPE schools up to the end of the project period, December 2002 with financial support of World University Service of Canada (WUSC)-CIDA. As per the plan, BEES established and operated the same number of NFPE schools during the mentioned period enrolling 30 children in each school.


During the reporting period 2002-2003, a total of 59 NFPE schools were found operating, while 116 NFPE schools were graduated in diversified period during the last year. In the reporting year, a total of 1,762 children were graduated from 59 NFPE schools. Among the graduated children about 62% were girls and rest of children were boys. Realizing the fact that female literacy is very important for women empowerment as well as poverty alleviation, BEES always promotes the enrollment of more girls in the NFPE schools.



The schools were within the proximity of the students’ residences. The teachers were selected from community and they were provided with sufficient training. The class size was small with maximum 30 students under each teacher. The age of the students was between 8-14 years who never enrolled or have dropped out of formal schools. Books and stationeries were given free of charges to the students. There were 7 Supervisors who supervise and monitor the NFPE schools on regular basis. The Supervisors were also trained sufficiently. The schools generally started in the morning in between 8:00 am to 10:00 am and continued for two hours. The schools were managed in a participatory way by forming School Management Committee (SMC) involving 5 members – parents, local opinion leader and teacher from the school. SMCs were formed with the objective to run the schools properly. During the reference period, all 59 NFPE schools were found having SMC. Each of the SMC meetings were participated by all members and a register book was maintained for keeping their attendance. Minutes and resolution of the meetings were also written regularly. At least one meeting was held in every month in each school. More than 95% SMC meetings were held with the participation of all members during the reporting session.


During the reporting period 2002-2003, the average attendance rate of the students was appreciably high, over 98%. The curricula of the non-formal school systems was equivalent to Class I-IV of the Govt. primary school syllabus conducted by NFPE schools within 2 consecutive years. More than 92% children of the total were found enrolling in the Government and Non-Government formal schools, which was really encouraging.


Similarly a large number of promotional activities such as rally, miking, students’ home visits by the teachers, discussion meetings with the parents by the supervisors and supervisions were held during the mentioned period. The rallies were organized with the participation of the students, teachers, BEES staff and representatives of different GOs and NGOs. All these promotional activities were done to motivate the parents to enroll their children to the BEES operating NFPE schools and to ensure regular attendance of the children in the schools.


Hard to Reach (HTR) program

On the other side, BEES has been operating a network of another 30 NFPE centers in the name of Hard to Reach (HTR) in the old areas of Dhaka Metropolitan with the financial assistance from Bangladesh Government. These have been providing non-formal primary education to a total of 900 students of whom 369 are girls and 531 are boys.


The government provided materials and curriculum for the project. Duration of the course is two year. There are 24 teachers and two supervisors having basic training. Students of the HTR are of 8-14 years age group and they are all working and street children. Each HTR center have a committee named Center Management Committee (CMC) comprising a Word Commissioner, opinion leaders, teachers and guardians/students. The HTRs start in between 9:00 am to 11:00 am and continue for two hours. The times are to set as per the students’ convenience as the students were working and street children.


During the reporting period 2002-2003, the average attendance rate of the students is found about 75% and the drop out rate of the students is quite high, about 50%, although 45% of these vacancies are immediately filled-in by fresh admission.




BEES has been implementing an ILO-USDOL project for the labor children “BEES-WFCL program in Hazaribagh under Dhaka Metropolitan city by establishing 3 centers and enrolling 180 children who are working in different tanneries as labor. The students are from the age group between 10-15 years. Considering the students’ category, the average attendance rate is satisfactory, which is about 80%. Students’ books and stationeries are given free of charges and the curriculum covers the formal schooling system. The centers generally seat in two times in a day from 6:00 am to 8:00 am and from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm and continued for two hours. There are 2 female teachers, one male teacher and 2 Community Mobilizers (CMs). The duration of the course is usually 24 months.


There are two steps in the education curriculum, one is basic education following formal schooling system and the other is vocational skills training. Under the basic education, students are able to read, write and account, while through the vocational training, skills and various trades are provided. The students who are 14 and above age group are eligible for getting 6 months’ vocational skills training. These centers are also managed in a participatory way by forming Program Facilitating Committee (PFC) involving 9 members consisting from Word Commissioner, proprietor of tanneries, local influential persons and teacher for each center.


Post Literacy and Continuing Education Program for Human Development (PLCEHD) project


In addition to NFPE, HTR and ILO/IPEC-USDOL project, BEES has recently started implementing works of Post Literacy and Continuing Education Program for Human Development (PLCEHD) project in Panchbibi upazila of Joypurhat district with the financial assistance of Bangladesh Government. 


The main development objective of the project is to increase the functional application of literacy skills by providing post literacy and continuing education to neo-literates through a more comprehensive and enhanced system of non-formal education. The project period is 9 months starting from December 2002. The course is divided into two steps, first one is three months’ Post Literacy Continuing Education course and the later six months is for vocational skills training on four trades – tailoring, poultry rearing, cow fattening and cow rearing. There are 30 PLCEHD centers enrolling 30 learners in each center. Thus having a total of 900 learners in 30 centers having 50% female learners. Learners in the post literacy and continuing education for human development program are 11 to 45 age group. There are 15 teachers and one Supervisor. Immediately after recruitment, the teachers and supervisor attended in a 5 days long training course. Training course is arranged and facilitated by the Govt. resource personnel. Govt. provided education materials and curriculum which are used for PLCEHD program. There is also Center Management Committee (CMC) for each school comprising representatives of learners’ parents, opinion leaders, member of the union council and teacher. They provide cooperation to identify the problems and to take measures to resolve those. The centers generally are sat in two times in a day 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm for female teachers while male teachers started their class from 6:00 am and continued for two hours. During the reporting period learners were found receiving vocational skills training on four trades after successfully completion of the post literacy and continuing education course. The average attendance rate of the learners in the post literacy and continuing education course as well as in vocational skills training course is found satisfactory, over 93% and up to the end of the reporting session drop out rate of the learners in both the steps is found very low, less than half per cent, which is really praiseworthy.