The UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Gwyn Lewis visited two Ability Based Accelerated Learning (ABAL) Centers for 8-14 year-olds. The centers provide flexible learning opportunities for out-of-school children in the Kamrangirchar slum area, zone 3 of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC). The purpose of her visit was to learn about the special education programs supported with funds and technical assistance by UNICEF.
The project implementing partner is the CSO SUROVI, which runs 67 such learning centers in DSCC educating over 2,000 children. Each learning center supports 30 learners (girls and boys) from amongst the most disadvantaged children in the community.
The learning centers provide flexible learning opportunities for 8 to 14-year-old out-of-school children to assist them in learning according to their level, interest, and pace in a flexible environment. ABAL follows an adapted version of the National Primary Curriculum and consists of six subjects – Bangla, Mathematics, English, Bangladesh Studies, Primary Science, and Religion. Life skills relevant to the situation of the learners are also imparted.
This UNICEF-supported project addresses multiple Sustainable Development Goals (4, 5, 10) ensuring quality education, promoting gender equality, and reducing inequalities. It contributes to the UN’s joint strategic priority of equitable human development and well-being as articulated in the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2022-2026
Having interacted with children in two learning centres Gwyn Lewis praised the remarkable eagerness of the children to learn, their optimism, and the dedication of the teaching staff. “The children we met were a joy- so bright and engaging. I can see the incredible importance of the work you are doing. It is deeply impressive” she said to the staff and team at the learning centres.