|Education cannot be reduced to the common understanding in which Education is merely seen as systematic instruction with schooling overtones.
Education encompasses multi-facets. It combines all kind of acquisition and development of skills, knowledge, understanding, values, and wisdom with a common goal: Learning and Enlightening. Consequently Education is essential and fundamental to the development of a nation and has a key role to play in poverty eradication and Human development.
Nowadays three kind of Education or learning process are distinguished: The Informal Education, Formal Education, and Non-formal Education.
As a matter of fact people firstly educate themselves through experiences in daily life. This kind of Education, so called Informal Education isn’t tangible or quantifiable but still crucial as it is concerned with imparting of wisdom and traditions from generation to generation, in the familial sphere or within the community, and thus build the identity of one society. Informal Education points out the lifelong process in which people learn from influences and resources in their environment. PEACE Foundation recognizes the significance of the integration and respect of this factor in its programme and activities. The cultural identity of any individual or group remains the first and more important form of Education in poor and marginalized community, as it is their personal and unique ownership and the first bedrock of any society.
Besides the learning by experiences and transmission of tradition, people gain knowledge through structured Education system. The Formal Education takes place in a state-supported and state-operated institution: school. Therefore in this case Education is concerned with general knowledge, literacy and numeracy. However schools do not merely inculcate a body of knowledge but also develop capabilities and sense of initiative, of responsibility and of creativity. School is also dedicated to open mind and stimulate the critical reflection.
Apart from the abilities and values inculcation, school also offers to these children a safe environment with support, safekeeping and supervision and is the first place where a child can socialise with others and learn to become an integrated part of the community.
So Universal Primary Education is central to the fight against poverty, understandably so, because it should assist poor people to break the cycle of poverty. PEACE Foundation advocates quality basic education for all and elimination of disparities of all kinds at school. The organization addresses a particular emphasis on gender equality by getting girls into school and ensuring that they stay and learn. In a matter of facts educated girls are likely to marry later and have fewer children, who in turn will be better nourished and educated. The better-off future mother will be able to transmit this well-being to her child and reverse the straitened circumstances of the family, on the contrary girls tend to inherit the poverty of their mothers, and have to deal with many obstacles in order to break down the poverty circle. Educated girls are more able to participate in social, economic and political decision-making, and consequently gain value in the household and in the community. Conversely, denying children access to quality education increases their vulnerability to abuse, exploitation and disease. Girls, more than boys, are at greater risk of such abuse when they are not in school.
Therefore Education remains a push factor for Human Development. However illiteracy and lack of Education are widespread in developing countries. Currently the world’s population stands at 6,602,224,175 of which nearly 18% are illiterate mainly gathered in eight counties India, China, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and Egypt. Women account for two-thirds of all adult illiterates.
In Bangladesh PEACE Foundation in its advocacy and national level lobbying programme attempts to address both human and material needs that the intervention of the government should meet in the education domain in order to build a new generation free from poverty and able to participate in the national development: this includes the infrastructures, learning conditions, materials, adapted staff, suitable and relevant curricula as well as ensuring that all children have equal access to school and complete a quality education.
The Non-formal Education is another possibility to ensure a minimum of Education. It refers to instruction, which takes place outside the context of a formal school, it can be in community groups or other organizations such as NGOs, nevertheless it has the same final goal: learning and achieving a minimum of primary education for all pupils.
The Non-formal Education bridges the gap between the lucky part of the society that can afford schooling to the children and the disadvantaged and marginalized slice that is stuck in a poverty-stricken context and remote to any changes. Consequently they are deprived of their rights to education because the families cannot bear the school fees and other related expenses.
In addition poor children have numerous social, physical and psychological disadvantages, such as a low healthy status, no access to “outside world”, laborious day-to-day experiences, etc. therefore they are more vulnerable and face difficulties to follow and benefit from the traditional education system.
As a result it is crucial to consider the issue of poverty into the planning of educational curricula and schedule.
Non-formal Education is a process of helping people to learn, not only what is in reference to basic “school” knowledge, but also professional and life skills, health care, that can help them and their family to prevent diseases, awareness of their rights and responsibilities, and concretization of their abilities, in order to empower them and enhance their self-confidence to enable them to improve their lives.
PEACE Foundation endeavours to organize educational flexible activities in order to meet the needs of marginalized groups that do not have access to Formal Education or have been dropped out. The Non-formal Education is accessible for all at any age, nevertheless PEACE Foundation concentrates its initiatives in this field on women and teenagers by providing a compromise between professional training and awareness/Education.
|Education: Bangladesh Situation
As signatory of the MDGs, Bangladesh has shown steady progress towards achieving the education goal.
The targets set were:
§ to increase primary school enrolment rate to 100% by 2015.
§ to increase primary school completion rate to 100% by 2015.
§ to reduce drop out rates to 0% by 2015.
In Bangladesh 40% of the children do not attend school at all and only 40% of those who enter primary school complete it. Women are less educated because their participation is hindered by ancient tradition and general mentality. Although women used to lag behind the situation is improving. Due to steps taken by non-government and government agencies to discard gender gap in education significant progress has been made.
The infrastructure remains a problem, which impedes the progress of education towards higher ground. The problems feature a lack of classroom and of teaching tools/resources, the unavailability of teachers and the poor working conditions, the stipend shortage, and the political bias in school management. In rural areas, natural disasters, lack of awareness among parents, poverty and child
labor participate in the still remaining high rate of attendance or withdrawal.
Although, Bangladesh has shown a steady progress in this arena, many challenges still remain to be dealt with.