Samir Ranjan Nath, Nowreen Yasmin, Nawra Mehrin and Anwar Hossain
This study aims to estimate changes that have taken place in school enrollment in villages located in eight marginalised upazilas of Sylhet division where BRAC had established new schools during 2012–13 and also investigate village preference of BRAC in establishing schools. Along with baseline data of 2011, new data collected from intervention and non-intervention villages at the end of 2013 also were analysed. Findings reveal that BRAC was quite successful in increasing enrolment of children in both pre-primary and primary schools through its direct and indirect (through the Education Support Programme) intervention in about half of the villages of the upazilas. As a result, out-of-school children also reduced in these villages both in absolute number and in proportion. Primary educational intervention was absolutely poverty focused; however, this was not the case for pre-primary intervention. Most marginalised villages were still waiting to be intervened. Very little increase in enrollment in the non-intervention villages was noticed which had no influence in reducing out-of-school children; rather it increased in absolute number due to the increase of population. Finally, four policy recommendations were made to facilitate achievement of EFA and MDG goals in these upazilas. These included a collective engagement of the government, BRAC, local NGOs and the development partners, increased financial support independently or under the third Primary Education Development Programme (PEDP 3), expansion of programme in all villages and special attention to the most marginalised villages. A number of studies were also proposed.