The aim is to promote and enhance the value and role of girls in all aspects of social and economic life, to improve the quality of basic education and to ensure equitable access to learning opportunities for girls currently not enrolled in primary schools. The strategy promotes and supports the rights of girls and women as mandated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
As the lead agency for girls’ education, UNICEF is responsible not only for reflecting the global priorities in its own programmes but also for ensuring that girls’ education is promoted as a national priority in Bangladesh by the Govermnet and across a wide spectrum of partners and civil society. UNICEF has a major responsibility to advocate for girls’ education amongst all partners, to ensure that a broad based coalition is built for promoting girls’ education and to monitor progress towards the Millennium Development Goals related to girls’ education.
To fulfill its mandate for girls’ education in Bangladesh, a number of strategies will be employed by UNICEF to meet both its programmatic objectives as well as to contribute to the fulfillment of the girls’ education goals in Bangladesh by 2005 and 2015. The key strategies:
Promoting girls’ education and empowerment in national policies
Networking and building alliances and partnerships
Promotion of multi-dimensional and cross-sectoral approaches
Support to formal and nonformal channels
Promotion of girls’ education at every stage of the life cycle
Promotion of girls’ participation and empowerment
Inclusion of boys
Monitoring of progress
To meet these objectives the Child Development and Education (CDE) Section had three projects as part of the current Country Programme. The Early Childhood Development (ECD) Project was introduced in this Country Programme and works with the government and NGO partners to promote the cognitive, emotional and social development of the young child. The Intensive District Approach to Education for All (IDEAL) Project has covered 36 of the 64 districts of Bangladesh. In-service teachers’ training on child-centred active learning methods and the promotion of community participation in schools are cornerstones of the project. Through the Basic Education for Hard to Reach Urban Children (BEHTRUC) Project nearly 339,000 working children have been given access to basic education through a two year tailor made course.