a Bangladeshi National level development organization
>> Society for Underprivileged Families (SUF) has a working experience of almost 25 years in development field especially in education. SUF has implemented Non-Formal Education (NFE) programs since 1988 in Dhaka, Mymenshing, Netrokona, Gazipur, Pirojpur, and Rajshahi district, both rural and urban areas of Bangladesh. SUF`s NFE programs follow the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) in a condensed form; courses last 6 months, and sessions are 3 hours per day, 5 days per week. SUF runs these courses in 3 shifts per day. The NFE classes apply child focused methods to ensure quality education and joyful learning. It has also introduced supplementary materials to teach slum and working children about child rights and life skills. The organization has determined its NFE methodology through consulting with community members, students, and other likeminded NGO’s who provide NFE. On an average, SUF provides NFE to 8500 poor, slum and working children every year. Since its inception, SUF has provided NFE to around 45000 children out of which 7556 children have continued their formal education in different mainstream school, colleges and universities after completing NFE. SUF has a system to monitor and support these children to ensure their successful transition into formal schools. A number of 43750 poor, slum and working children only get NFE support under the following project criteria.
SUF has extensive experience in linking children to formal and informal sectors to create non-hazardous employment opportunities and options for graduated NFE children. SUF enhance employers’ capacity and awareness on child labour issues contributing to increased access of child laborers to basic education initiatives. To ensure safety and protection of children at the workplace SUF cooperates with employers to orient them on code of conducts. SUF also has experience in working with the government’s Bureau of Non Formal Education. SUF has implemented a number of projects on Basic Education in Dhaka, Sylhet, Chittagong and Rajshahi Division. Furthermore, SUF has extensive experience in providing extra support to children and youth through their child and youth clubs, as well as health and legal referral services. Since its inception SUF facilitated 50 child and youth clubs in different districts allowing around 25000 children from local communities to enjoy different recreation, health, and information facilities in a safe and supportive environment.
• SUF-Vocational training program (both rural and urban, Dhaka, Mymensing, Barisal):
Society for Underprivileged Families (SUF) is implementing different projects on Technical Vocational Education and Training for poor, working children and youth both rural and urban areas on different trades such as industrial sewing, tailoring, Nackshikhantha, hand-machine empbroidery, Machine Maintanance, Quality Control, Electronics, Electrical, Computer operating system, Weaving and Mobile Servising. On the basis of market and children-youth demand training centers have been established in the community level. The training courses are making the professional workers for poor, working children and youth in the challenging job market. After completion of primary and secondary education childdren and youth received Technical Vocational Education and Training from the project of SUF. Duration of each training course is six months and nine months. Beside this the graduated children involved with 3 month apprenticeship training course in industrial level. This training has led children and youth to change their life style with good employment in formal and informal sectors. After completion of the vocational training a number of 9955 children and youth placed in job both formal and informal sectors and 4223 children and youth started their own business as self employment with the support of SUF. Two vocational training centers have been established in Dhaka, One Vocational training center has been established in Mymenshing and five vocational training centers have been established in Pirojpur District of Barisal division.
• SUF-Non-Formal Eduction (NFE) for urban slum and working children:
SUF has 25 years long working experience ind the development field to implement the Non-Formal Education for slum and working children upto grade eight both in rural and urban areas. The slum and working children received education in Bangla, Math, English, Social Science, Science and religious under the National Curriculum fo Textbook Board (NCTB) curriculum. Besides, children received their rights based and life oriented information at the learning centers which include CRC, HIV/AIDS and life skill. Under the following projects SUF is implementing the Non-Formal Education around the country.
1) “Chhinna Mukul Prokalpa”, funded by Save the Children Denmark (SCD), Project duration: 1991 to 2013, coverage 8500 children, working area: Ramna and Tejgaon thana, of Dhaka District City Corporation. Methodology: 4 years condensed curriculum, children received non-formal education from grade one to grade eight following the national curriculum textbook board, with the subject of Bangla, English, Mathematics, Social Science, Science and religion. The class conducted 3 hours a day 5 days a week. With in the education project are included child club, information box, mainstreaming, coaching facilities, child led advocacy, life skill training, awareness raising materials development on education, parenting program, community watch group, training for formal school teachers, awareness campaign in formal school.
2) “Vocational Training and Education Assistance for children and youth” project funded by Kokkyo naki Kodomotachi (KnK-Japan), Project duration: 2008 to 2014, coverage 2600 poor and working children, working area: Pirojpur District, Kawkhali and Nesarabad upazila of Barisal division. Methodology: Non-Formal Education followed by 3 years condensed NCTB curriculum, with the subject of Bangali, English, Mathmatics, Social Science, Science and religious. The class conducted 3 hours a day 5 days a week, the class conducted with different participatory method. Poor and working children are enjoying child and youth club activities, they conduct different activities within the child and youth club and community with the support of community people, mainstreaming, awareness campaign in formal school is a regular activities of the project. The project staffs are conducted regular parents meeting within the project location to improve the children competency and caring by the parents.
3) “Community Response in Education” funded by Save the Children Denmark (SCD), Project duration: 2008 to 2011, coverage 6000 children, Working area: Sadar Upazilla of Netrokona District. Methodology: Increased children attendance in formal school, capacity buildup training of formal school teacher, exposure visit, mainstreaming, community school partnership to address excluded children, training for teachers and community, local level advocacy.
4) “Develop appropriate alternative in rural areas to reduce rural-urban children migration” Project, funded by Save the Children Denmark (SCD), Project duration: 2007 to 2013, coverage 3300 slum and working children, working area: Mymensingh Sadar, Fulpur upazila, Durgapur upazila and Netrokona Sadar, Durgapur Upazila Netrokona District. Methodology: followed by 3 years condensed NCTB curriculum, 3300 slum and working children received Non-Formal Education within the project period with the subject of Bangali, English, Mathematics, Social Science, Science and religious, provide capacity build-up training to the teacher. Project conducted regular parents and community meeting to identify the children problems and find out the way of solution. Within the school compound SUF established child and youth club for extra co-curricular activities. Through the child club children and youth received different training on child rights, life skill and communication. Organize exposure vist, annual sports, observe special day and mainstreaming to the formal education system, child led advocacy for stipend program and awareness raising materials development.
5) “Extended Education benefiting bright poor working children in Dhaka” Project, funded by FEMCONSULT-The Netherlands, Project duration: 2011 to 2015, coverage: 10 poor and working children, working area: Ramna and tejgoan thana, ward no 53, 54, 55, 37 under Dhaka District, Methodology: The targeted children received formal education opportunities, Mainstreaming, providing school tuition, admission fee and 9 months private tutorial support., education materials, school uniform, monitoring and supervision on a regular basis.
6) “Promoting Children’s Rights to Protection by mitigation rural-urban migration of children for hazardous work in Bangladesh” Project, funded by Save the Children Denmark and Save the Children Finland, Project duration: 2008 to 2013, coverage: 4400 children, working area: Sadar Upazila, Fullpur Upazila of Mymensingh and Sadar Upazila, Durgapur Upazilia of Netrokona District, Methodology: Followed by 3 years condensed NCTB curriculum for Non-Formal Education up to grade five, with the subject of Bangali, English, Mathematics, Bangladesh global studies, Social Science, Science and Religious. Children received different capacity building training on CRC, life skill, communication etc. The project staffs received capacity build-up training on teaching method, child psychology, communication and child rights etc. Through out the project period different meeting, workshop, seminar and training have conducted with community people for their capacity buildup and sustainable the project activities within the project location. After completion of grade five educations all the children were mainstreamed in to formal education system, the project children and community children were involved with child club and youth club activities, child led advocacy for stipend program, awareness raising for materials development.
7) “Improve the quality of Child Domestic Worker” Project, funded by International Labour Organization (ILO)”, Project duration: 2004 to 2005, coverage: 1200 full time child domestic workers, working area: ward no. 53, 54, 55, 37, 22, 56 under Dhaka City Corporation. Methodology: 2 years Non-Formal Education under National Curriculum Textbook Board (NCTB) condensed curriculum, life skill training, awareness and mainstream to formal education system. 1200 child domestic worker completed non-formal education upto grade four. The education course were six months each session, 3 hours a day five days a week. The subject were Bangla, English, Mathematics, Social Science, Science and Religious. End of the project period all the children can read, write and calculate numeric. Most of the children mainstream into formal education system for higher education.
8) “Support Urban Slum Children to Access Inclusive Non-Formal Education (SUSTAIN)”, funded by European Union (EU) supported by Save the Children, project duration: 2012 to 2017, coverage 10500 slum and working children, working area: Ramna thana, Tejgoan thana, Rampura thana, Badda thana and poltan thana under Dhaka city corporation. Methodology: 2 years and 3 years non-formal education up to grade five followed by National Curriculum Textbook Board (NCTB), upto the project period 372 slum and working children completed Primary School Certificate exam and promoted in to grade six in secondary school and 500 children completed Pre-primary Education from SUF school and mainstream in to formal education system, each of the education compound children are enjoying with child club activities. Parenting education are conducting in the education center on a regular basis to improve the children competency and children caring. Children observe special day such as children rights day, mother language day, victory day and independent day etc. each of the education compound follow-up by center management committee.
9) “Education for Youth Empowerment (EYE)”, funded by Save the Children (SC) project duration: 2014 to 2015, coverage 900 slum and working children. Working area: Ramna and Tejgoan thana, of Dhaka District City Corporation. Methodology: 4 years condensed curriculum, children received non-formal education from grade three to grade eight following the national curriculum textbook board, with the subject of Bangla, English, Mathmatics, Social Science, Science and religious. The class conducted 3 hours a day 5 days a week. With in the education project are included child club, information box, mainstreaming, coaching facilities, child led advocacy, life skill training, awareness raising materials development on education, parenting program, community watch group, training for formal school teachers, awareness campaign in formal school.
. 10) “Chronic Poverty Reduction in Remote Villages through Development of Agriculture Technology, Farmers group, Education and Health Support in Rajshahi, District in Bangladesh” funded by Japan International Cooperation Foundation (JICF), Project duration: 2014 to 2017, coverage: 450 poor and working children, working area: Potahar, Palsha and Dubipara union, Godagari thana under Rajshahi District. Methodology: Non-Formal Education up to grade four followed by National Curriculum Textbook Board (NCTB), with the subject of Bangla, Mathematic, English, Social Science, Science and Religious. Children and teacher received capacity build-up training to run the project activities smoothly. After complete the NFE all the children will be mainstream in to formal education system, awareness, tutorial support and parenting education also the main activities of the project.
11) “Child Sensitive Social Protection (CSSP)” Project, funded by Save the Children Denmark and Save the Children Finland, Project duration: 2011 to 2014, coverage: 5890 children, working area: Sadar Upazila, Fullpur Upazila of Mymensingh and Sadar Upazila, Durgapur Upazilia of Netrokona District, Methodology: Followed by 3 years condensed NCTB curriculum for Non-Formal Education up to grade five, with the subject of Bangla, English, Mathematics, Bangladesh global studies, Social Science, Science and Religious. Children received different capacity building training on CRC, life skill, communication etc. The project staffs received capacity build-up training on teaching method, child psychology, communication and child rights etc. Through out the project period different meeting, workshop, seminar and training have conducted with community people for their capacity buildup and sustainable the project activities within the project location. After completion of grade five educations all the children were mainstreamed in to formal education system, the project children and community children were involved with child club and youth club activities, child led advocacy for stipend program, awareness raising for materials development.
Impact of Non-Formal Education Program:
SUF`s non formal education program is very much popular not only in its working areas but also all over the country. Through this program, SUF has been accessing the marginalized poor families by providing non formal education among the children of the urban and rural areas. Urban poor are basically the workers who work in formal and informal sectors like garments, domestic works, road carpeting works, rickshaw pulling, small car driving, hotel and restaurant works, tea stall works, motor garage works etc. Their earning is very poor and for this they do not have enough opportunities to provide their children to the mainstreamed educational institutions. SUF`s non formal education program has been providing education support for these family children for more about 25 years. All the non-formal school compound of SUF is situated near the slum areas. So the targeted poor family children can easily attend to the schools regularly. School compounds are well decorated with colorful flowers and different designed education materials. So children feel interest for coming to school and continue their education on a regular basis. SUF follows the accelerated education model so that the children of poor families can complete their education by half of the total required time. Because the length of each class course is only six months instead of 1 year (12 months). As this is non-formal education so six month is enough time to complete the syllabus. Besides non formal schools follows no traditional leaves like other mainstream schools. After passing the students generally get admitted in the mainstream schools. So they get a way of life leaving the extreme poverty behind. Students of disadvantaged families are getting the opportunities to access the mainstream education with other society boys and girls. Thus SUF`s non formal education is playing the vital role in the implementation of important goal `Ensuring universal Education` of MDG. On the other hand SUF is providing educational assistance to these marginalized families in reducing their poverty also.
• SUF-Mainstream Education:
1) Society for Underprivileged Families (SUF) has long experience on mainstream education program for slum and working children. All the non-formal education project of SUF has option for mainstream, near about 20% to 25% children of the total children under different projects are mainstream in to formal education system. SUF buildup a good relationship with government, semi-government and non-government school authorities. After completion of Non-Formal Education who are below 15 years were mainstream into formal education system. The methodology was motivating parents, guardian, employers and community people. SUF provide tutorial support to the mainstream children on a regular basis by the NFE teachers. SUF has been conducting deferent advocacy program in regards the admission, reduce monthly tuition fees, create child friendly environment and other facilities with the mainstream schools. The students who have already been passed from non-formal education program have also access to the child and youth clubs and they attending to different events regularly. Every year huge number of pre-primary level children completed one year long pre-primary education Course from SUF program’s and 100% of this student get admitted in different mainstream school within the project location. The mainstream children attending grade eight (Junior School Certificate - JSC) exam regularly and 100% slum children have already been passed.
Impact of mainstream education
This program has created the access for slum and working children to education through reducing hidden tuition fees. Huge advocacy materials have been developed with clear message and distributed to the targeted peoples and areas. SUF has been facilitating child led awareness campaign by the children and youth at local and national level. Thus children and youth capacity on conducting advocacy have been increasing. By such type of advocacy campaign the hidden tuition cost of different mainstream schools have been decreased. The pressure has been created to formal mainstream schools to include the non-formal level students through presenting an assessment finding. Number of mainstream children has passed J.S.C, S.S.C, H.S.C and Degree in different years under the supervision of SUF. A number of mainstream student are continuing master degree course in different public and private university and collage. After completing the graduation degree of mainstream children have been working in different SUF project as a teacher and community mobilizer.
• SUF-ECCD (Pre-primary) Program:
Society for Underprivileged Families (SUF) operating pre-primary education center both rural and urban areas including Dhaka, Mymensigh, Netrokona and Pirojpur District of Bangladesh. A total of 37 PPE centers have been conducted by SUF through different projects. After one year course children mainstreamed into formal school from grade one or life oriented education center. Aiming of the interventions is reducing child labour from the tender age. Through family analysis it was shown that child worker parents, their other siblings has experience on work at early age which contribute the youger sibling to be a child labour. ECCD interventions are helping to the children to keep their time in educatiion. The intervention method is every day two shift of PPE class are held in each center. Duration of classe is 2.5 hours and covered 25 students. One full time teacher is assigned for each center. The PPE classes are continued 5 days a week. Each PPE classes well decorated with child friendly materials, color pictures and papers. In the PPE class in addition to basic education equipment is being equipped with playing materials to be used for child-friendly and age appropriate learning processes. SUF provide basic training on the PPE curriculum including lesson plan development, child-friendly teaching, orientation on child rights and the needs and constraints of hardest to reach urban children. By the education specialist and supervisors mainly conducted the training session. At mid of each year PPE teacher received refreshers training to conduct the PPE class. SUF organized co-curricular activities for PPE students.
• SUF-Sponsorship program:
Since 2008, SUF has been conduting sponsorship program with support of different donor agencies named FEMCONSULT-The Netherlands and individuals from different countries. A totoal of 450 poor and slum children have received diffrent support from this project. The support provided are school admission fees, monthly tuition fees, school uniform, education materials and private tutorial support. In different years a number children who passed passed from this project received jobs in different organization, institutions and offices with good salries and working environment. Presently a number of 105 children are on enrollement under sponsorship program in diffrent classes.