Open School and Girls’ Education in Hill Districts of Bangladesh

Khalid, A K M Iftekhar
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Women empowerment is identified as an essential component for the progress of a nation. One of the main tools for women empowerment is education. In Bangladesh, many girl children cannot join schools and along with that, in the hill districts of the country, the challenges of bringing and keeping the girls to schools are more complicated because of geographical position. Bangladesh Open University (BOU) has been established in 1992 with an aim to make education accessible to the population at large and Open School of BOU has been working for educating people with emphasizing the dropout and the underprivileged. Open School is offering education through open and distance learning (ODL) and has a flexible manner towards enrolling students who have been discontinued from formal education. Though government organizations, Open School of BOU, other government organizations and non-government organizations (NGOs) are working for the girl children with a special emphasis in hill districts, the girls still quit schools before they are able to complete upper primary and secondary schooling. This research initiative was taken to know what are the difficulties that the girls are facing so that they have to leave school so early. The paper concentrates on the challenges which the educators, teachers, local people, guardians, parents and girls were mentioning during a research initiative in two hill districts e.g. Rangamati, Bandarbon. The research has been based on interviews and the informants were interviewed individually and in groups. Qualitative method was employed to collect the data from the respondents and analyse the collected data. The research is providing a depth overview how girls in hill districts are confronting to the barriers and how they are discontinuing their education at a very early stage of life and how Open School of BOU can give a wider option to bring the girls back to the schools again. This essay would definitely give an understanding to the policy planners, educators, practitioners as well as general people for the girl children’s present predicaments in hill tracts in Bangladesh and recommendations to bring them back to schools for continuing education. // Paper ID: 39

Women and Girls' Education,Empowerment,Gender,Open and Distance Learning (ODL)