Primary Education for Children Living in Slum Areas: Evidences from BRAC Initiative
Nowreen Yasmin, Samir Ranjan Nath, Anwar Hossain, RED, BRAC
Date: 09 July 2017; Time:12:00 to 01:00 pm; Venue: RED Conference Room (15th Floor)
This study aims to explore learnings from BRAC Urban Slum School initiative in terms of challenges and outcomes. This project particularly focused on the schooling of children living in slum areas in different parts of Bangladesh. A quantitative approach was dominantly employed. Household survey, school survey, and learning achievement test were utilised. Baseline and end line surveys were carried out in randomly sampled 50 urban schools. In addition, 30 schools were selected as comparison.
Findings reveal that in majority of the cases, schools were established either in slums or nearby the slum areas. On an average, 19.3 students per school appeared in PEC examination in 2016 whereas the mean number of admitted students in grade one was 30.4 in 2013. Around 57.5% of the baseline students have migrated from slum schools for various reasons during the primary cycle. The average number of students completing the entire primary cycle was much higher in rural BPS than the slum BPS.
The students of slum schools achieved significantly lower number of competencies than the students of comparison schools (19.4 vs. 21.2). Worst performance was observed in English; only 1.2% of slum BPS students achieved all three competencies in English. No significant gender variation was observed in any of the 27 competencies under test. The findings reveal some challenges which caused lower retention of students. However, most of those fall beyond intervention scope. Despite the challenges, this intervention may be tagged as highly successful in terms of targeting children living in slum areas. Complementary mechanism to retain more students from the beginning can yield larger outcome from similar intervention in near future.