The following press release was originally issued by USAID/Bangladesh:
Dhaka, June 7 – Today, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Kathryn Stevens joined the Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education (MoPME) Mr. Md. Aminul Islam Khan and Director General of the Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) Mr. Alamgir Mohammed Monsurul Alam to launch USAID’s new five-year $38.5 million Esho Shikhi (Come and Learn) project. The new early education project will provide hands-on training to teachers in 15 target districts, enabling them to utilize more innovative and effective teaching-learning approaches to improve reading and learning skills among marginalized students in grades 1-5.
The Esho Shikhi initiative will complement the Government of Bangladesh’s Fourth Primary Education Development Program (PEDP4) and support the government’s commitment to improving teachers’ ability to deliver quality instruction in classrooms. USAID will train master trainers, who will subsequently train teachers across the country and the project will direct train 20,000 teachers from 10,000 schools to enhance the quality of their teaching while providing high-quality learning materials.
USAID’s Esho Shikhi project will also focus on engaging parents and communities to increase learning opportunities for their children outside of the classroom. The program will also strengthen the capacity of community mentors to deliver quality education, and help communities mitigate hardships – including disasters or pandemics – to maintain continuous access and quality of education for their children.
“Improving learning opportunities and helping young Bangladeshi children succeed in school is a priority for USAID. Our main goal under the Esho Shikhi project is to unlock the full potential of young students in the classroom and help them achieve their dreams for a brighter future,” said USAID Mission Director Kathryn Stevens.
Senior Secretary Mr. Khan applauded USAID’s partnership with the Ministry, and stated, “Though we have ensured a 98 percent enrollment rate, we need to focus on ensuring 100 percent enrollment of children, especially for children who are living in disadvantaged and marginalized communities. I hope the Esho Shikhi project will provide great support to the PEDP4 in engaging communities to support children’s enrollment, reducing dropout, facilitating learning at school and at home, under the leadership of the Director General, DPE and the PEDP4 program.”
About USAID: The United States has provided more than $8 billion in assistance to Bangladesh since its independence. In 2021 alone, USAID provided nearly $200 million to improve the lives of people in Bangladesh through programs that expand food security and economic opportunity, improve health and education, promote democratic institutions and practices, protect the environment, and increase resilience to climate change. The U.S. government has also donated more than 64 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and committed nearly $140 million of assistance.