British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson has said education is a fundamental human right and critical for the development of a country.
Dickson inaugurated two learning centres on Wednesday in Narsingdi under the Educate the Most Disadvantaged Children (EMDC) programme funded by the British High Commission in Dhaka and implemented by UNICEF.
UNICEF Representative to Bangladesh Sheldon Yett also visited the learning centres, said the British High Commission on Thursday.
Sheldon Yett has said despite increased enrolment of both girls and boys, millions of children in Bangladesh remain out of school.
The partnership with the UK government is a boost to UNICEF’s efforts to bring quality education to children who would otherwise be missing out, Yett said.
The UK government is pleased to be able to provide these flexible learning opportunities for out-of-school children to minimise the learning gap and help build back after the COVID-19 pandemic, Dickson said.
"At the end of their course these children will be integrated into mainstream government schools to continue their education,” said the British envoy.
The objective of the programme is to provide increased opportunities for education to some of the most disadvantaged children, especially girls, and to enhance their foundational learning.
The project directly helps to overcome education challenges in Bangladesh by supporting out-of-school children living in hard-to-reach areas such as urban slums, coastal areas, hill tracts and wetlands.
A total of 1,300 learning centres will provide catch-up education to children who dropped out (or are at risk of dropping out) due to the COVID pandemic; and multi-grade multi-level education for children who were never previously enrolled in school.
The UK government has pledged 38.5 million pounds for the Educate the Most Disadvantaged Children (EMDC) programme in Bangladesh which will be implemented over eight years.
The programme aims to provide education to 360,000 marginalised children, including over 210,000 girls across Bangladesh.