The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched a five-year project to improve learning outcomes for children with disabilities in Bangladesh's government primary schools.
USAID will spend $18.5 million on everyone learns together project to develop materials and methods that can be scaled and adapted nationwide and will carefully test these new approaches in some of the hard-to-reach districts of the country.
On Sunday, primary and mass education Secretary Farid Ahmed inaugurated the project from 1 May 2022 to 30 April 2027 at a hotel in the capital.
"We will have to ensure that primary education is accessible for everyone, and we believe that such a major initiative will undoubtedly play a part in providing equitable and inclusive education," he added.
The secretary said the ministry also works for special children and others. In this project, USAID works together with the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, the Directorate of Primary Education and other government and private institutions concerned.
USAID Mission Director Kathryn D Stevens said, "When it comes to education, we must ensure that no one lags behind, thus we feel that 'Shobai Miley Shikhi' will play an important role in that, and that this attempt will go well beyond simply linking children and parents.
"We are enthused to launch this new project with our partners from the Government of Bangladesh as we strive to achieve our shared vision of helping children of all skill levels and abilities complete their studies," she added.
The project is being implemented jointly by the Research Triangle Institute International and its partners: Inclusive Development Partners, Save the Children, Center for Disability in Development and National Grassroots Disability Organization, according to the USAID.
The project will collaborate closely with the Government of Bangladesh to strengthen existing education reforms to enhance inclusive school environments and instruction: increase parents', caregivers, and communities' ability to support inclusive education; and expand the government's capacity to plan, deliver, and manage high-quality inclusive education.
With the goal of creating a more inclusive education system, the USAID Shobai Miley Shikhi project will train teachers to improve their skills in reaching students of all abilities in the classroom and provide specialised learning materials.
The new project will engage parents, communities, and advocacy organisations for persons with disabilities to alleviate some of the unique challenges affecting students with special needs.
In the project to be implemented by Research Triangle Institute International, USAID will work closely with the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education in targeted upazilas to begin rolling out the new inclusive education project.