The Boat Schools for Children project scales up BRAC’s current pilot program that uses purpose-built boats as schools to provide education in the Haor basin flood plain. The boats are designed as mobile classrooms to provide access to education to children who would otherwise be unable to enrol in school (42% of the villages in Sylhet, part of the Haor basin, have no primary schools, forcing children to attend schools outside their settlements. Compounding the issue are the area’s fragile transportation and communication networks that further hinder access to schools).
The boat schools follow the standard BRAC education program in which students complete five grades of education in four years. The project is intended to impact 13,000 out of school children (OOSC) by enroling them into non-formal primary schools. Specific project activities include: training of local boat manufacturers; construction and equipping of 400 boats; selection and training of 500 teachers; and creating 400 School Management Committees with representatives from the community, schools, government, and parents.
BRAC has demonstrated strong implementation capability through similar programs and has many years of experience in scaling up new programs. Project sustainability will place focus on community engagement and ownership of its schools. Furthermore, each boat school is designed to last at least 20 years.