begun 1n 1984, brac's exponential acceleration of primary had built 30000 informal primary schools by 1995 -making brac the largest non-gov schools service - unlike gov schools which may have 5 teachers and classrooms, brac is one room one teacher (format partly resembling village montessori). this is a description from a 1998 paper:
BRAC : in 1995 there were 30,000 schools covering 900,000 students nationwide. BRAC schools are one-room classes of 30 students that give preferential enrollment to girls and to children from poor families. The teacher is usually a woman from the village with at least an eighth grade education who has completed an intensive teacher training course run by BRAC. The program’s policy is to maintain a 70–30 ratio of girls to boys among those enrolled. BRAC schools make an effort to enroll dropouts from the regular school system, and the curriculum developed by BRAC is intended to provide gender-sensitive, functional education
in oct 2012 fazle abed made these contribution to a tweet Q&A hosted by UN- they reveal the sort of design brac primary schools serve
the 1998 paper offers context on how sustained efforts for women empowerment need to be when history has started from a completely opposite culture- noteworthy extracts
Changes in education policy such as the ones that have occurred in Bangladesh provide a unique opportunity to study factors that affect investments in children. They represent exogenous influences on a household’s decisionmaking about children’s schooling. Justification for the programs was based on the assessment that certain structural and familial factors act as barriers to schooling of children. The costs of schooling to families include direct costs for fees and books, as well as the more indirect costs of higher standards of nourishment and clothing that are perceived to be a necessary condition of attendance. Second, there are opportunity costs since children engage in various productive activities from an early age, and schooling 4 either translates into very long workdays for children or foregone income for the family (Amin 1996a). Under-investment in education may also be related to low expected returns from schooling: where school quality is poor, levels of learning are low and the prospects for improved earnings as a result of schooling are limited
The schooling of adolescent girls involves additional parental concerns. When schooling delays marriage, it may reduce the desirability of girls in the marriage market: while education is a valued attribute, so is young age at marriage for girls. Perceived risks are also associated with sexual safety. A girl whose sexual virtue has been compromised, in addition to suffering the psychological costs, also faces diminished prospects for marriage. Safety issues related to traveling to schools that are sometimes several kilometers away from the village is reported to be a significant factor in the decision not to send girls to secondary school. These costs generally outweigh the benefits of schooling, namely higher status, better opportunities for work in the formal sector, and better marriage prospects. Thus, in Bangladesh as in many other impoverished agrarian societies, the level of investment in children is the outcome of a complex decisionmaking process where parents’ ability and desire to invest in children are related to costs of education, opportunity cost of children’s time in school for the household, and expectations regarding returns to education. The social setting within the community and the macroeconomic environment also have a significant impact on the level of investment in and demand for schooling. In particular, the aggregate level of schooling in the community is likely to affect perceptions of costs of and returns to schooling. The presence of educated individuals offers direct evidence of what education can and can- 5 not buy in terms of opportunities and lifestyle. In most of rural Bangladesh, access to new employment opportunities, such as working for rural extension projects in agriculture, health, or credit, depends critically upon levels of education.
Female secondary school scholarship scheme. The government also initiated a scholarship scheme in 1994 for all girls enrolled in grades 6 and 9. This scheme was extended to girls in grades 7 and 8 starting in 1996. Entitlement to scholarships requires 65 percent school attendance and maintenance of a certain grade average in the previous year, but there are no criteria for economic exclusion. Schools receive a subsidy for each girl enrolled under this program, and the girls receive a monthly stipend deposited in their bank accounts. The stipend ranges from $1–2 depending on grade, and is of considerably lesser value than the wheat rations that children receive in primary school, which have a market value of $2–4. Parents of scholarship recipients are required to sign a bond guaranteeing that the girls will not be married before reaching 18 years of age. This program has been introduced throughout Bangladesh and thus it affects children of secondary school age in both study villages.