March 27, 2018
Written by USAID
This story and many others can be found on USAID’s story website.
Bangladesh has one of the largest primary education systems in the world, with more than 19 million children.
However, only 25 percent of fifth-grade students can read with comprehension at their grade level. Schools emphasize memorization over comprehension, making it difficult for children to learn to read well or understand what they are reading. And, without being able to read with comprehension, students don’t do well in other subjects.
USAID is helping primary school children like Joynur by training teachers to emphasize reading with comprehension, and installing reading corners in classrooms to provide access to books. Community reading camps also provide children with reading materials and educational games aligned with their textbooks.
In 2016 alone, USAID helped improve the reading skills of nearly 389,000 Bangladeshi children.
Investing in education is vital to build more stable, democratic societies. By educating children in Bangladesh, we are preparing them to be tomorrow’s leaders.
Joynur’s Joy: Reading to lead
Joynur is very enthusiastic about learning.
Every day when she wakes up, Joynur washes her face and then starts her day by reading a book. As she reads, her eyes sparkle with joy.
“When I was in class 1, I wanted to read better,” says the 10-year-old girl, who lives in southern Bangladesh. “Since I had very few books, I could not read well. My mother helps me with my reading.”
Joynur’s mother, Shahena, never had the chance to continue her education after the 5th grade. Shahena’s father was very poor, and he couldn’t afford it.
But, says Shahena, “I studied a little, so I understand the value of education.”
Video by Morgana Wingard, Josh Estey and Ahsan Khan for USAID