Plan International Bangladesh and UNFPA program aims to empower adolescents with knowledge of gender equity and SRHR
To celebrate the journey of Generation Breakthrough (GB), Plan International Bangladesh and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) jointly organized a ‘Learning Sharing Exhibition’ on 22 December at the International Mother Language Institute.
Generation Breakthrough (GB) is a project that addresses issues of gender based violence, gender equity and adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) since 2013. In partnership with the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA), the project is funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The project used the Gender Equitable Movement in Schools (GEMS) manual, developed by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), and contextualized it to suit the Bangladeshi context. The GEMS manual was endorsed by the National Curriculum and Textbook Board and approved by the Ministry of Education.
During the event a comic book based on the essays written by the students of different schools and madrasas, Cholo Bodlay (Let’s Change) was launched. Product of an essay competition, through these writings the adolescent shared their thoughts child marriage, importance of education for girls, gender equity and SRHR. Seven ICT and two non-ICT based games, board games along with some other interactive methods have been introduced to improve understanding of these issues among the adoloscent. The ICT based games, board games, GEMS classroom etc. were demonstrated in the event. This exhibition will showcase the achievements, good practices and lesson learnt from this project and deliberate on the learnings from GB can be used for future programming.
The Honourable Chairman of the Parliamentary Caucus on Child Rights (PCCR) Md Shamsul Haque Tuku MP, attended the event as the chief guest. Prof Dr Md Golam Faruk, Director General of DSHE; Mohammad Moshiuzzaman, Member Curriculum, NCTB; Mushfiqua Zaman Satiar, Senior Policy Advisor – SRHR and Gender, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN); Eiko Narita, Officer in Charge, UNFPA, and Murshid Akter, Head of Education Programme, Plan International Bangladesh were also present at the event.
Shamsul Haque said that GB was a very time worthy project and it played a significant role in promoting knowledge about the gender equality and sexual and reproductive health rights among the students. “Child development, child health and education are the key priorities for our government. To ensure better future for the children we are always ready to support any good initiatives,” said Shamsul Haque.
Prof Md Golam Faruk, Director General of DSHE shared the plan of the government to include the sexual and reproductive health rights related lessons in the education curriculum of 20 thousands schools and madrasas in the country.
Speaking on the impact and significance of the Project, Eiko Narita, Deputy Representative, UNFPA said, “Although the project is ending after 8 years, it is the beginning of a new start because the government will be scaling this project up to 50% while namely the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Women and Children Affairs will add an additional 4,800 or so adolescent clubs so that the young people can engage in this module of Generation Breakthrough.”
The GB project has been implemented in Dhaka and Barisal City Corporation, and Patuakhali and Barguna districts in 300 schools and 50 madrasahs and 150 adolescent clubs. Interventions have been rolled out through educational and skill development programs in schools, madrasas and adolescent clubs. The GB project worked directly with adolescent girls and boys aged 10-19 years in the above mentioned districts.
The project also worked with the adults who have an influence on the adolescents’ lives, including parents, teachers, sports instructors, community leaders and government officials of respective departments.
The government has been working to replicate this GB module in Cox’s Bazar and hopes to expand to other districts.