Moktab-based Pre-School for Quality Education; Impact Evaluation Report
About the publication
- Published: October 2014
- Series: --
- Type: NGO reviews
- Carried out by: A.N.S. Habibur Rahman
- Commissioned by: Strømme Foundation
- Country: Bangladesh
- Theme: Education and research
- Pages: --
- Serial number: --
- ISBN: --
- ISSN: --
- Organization: Strømme Foundation
- Local partner: COAST Trust
- Project number: GLO-08/446-25 (a part of the project)
1. Project Description and Background to Evaluation:
In 2008, while Stromme Foundation (SF) had the scope for funding in Early Childhood and Development, COAST Trust came up with a proposal to work with the children in the Cox's Bazar who had been studying in Moktabs - the traditional Islamic religious education centers. At the age of 6 plus, most of these children got admission in madrasas and deprived from primary education. The COAST Trust proposed to have a pre-primary education for these children through Moktab-based Pre-School (MPS) and to ensure their enrolment and retention in primary schools. Stromme Foundation found it a very timely proposal and started funding from 2009. COAST Trust conducted MPS in 6 upazilas of Cox's Bazar namely Ukhia, Moheshkhali, Teknaf, Cox's Bazarsadar, Chakaria and Ramu. Each center was run for one year with 30 learners who were mostly 5 years old. The MPSs were conducted for six days a week and two hours a day from 9 to 11 a.m. A total number 148 MPSs were established with an enrolment of 4,440 learners during the period of 2009 to 2013. These MPSs were supposed to run by the community after five years and accordingly there was no fund for further MPSs in these upazilas from 2014.
The objectives of the impact assessment was to (i) trace the learners of the MPS who passed and went to mainstream primary education, (ii) measure the community contributed in running the MPSs (iii) assess capacity of the Imams as MPS facilitators (iv) observe the scopes of sustainability do exist there and (v) recommend for future implications.
The impact assessment was started with reviewing the project documents and getting a brief from the management of Stromme Foundation. Based on that the check lists were developed for conducting FGDs and interviews. Three types of FGDs were conducted in the field with one group of teachers, with two groups of CMC and Community people and with the field staff of COAST Trust. In Key Informant Interviews (KII), SF and Coast Trust management staff were interviewed mainly on policy issues. A good number of children who were the learners of MPSs from 2009 to 2013 were asked to perform the activities they did in MPSs. They also answered about the questions on joyfulness of the intervention.
4. Key findings:
From 2009 to 2013, a total of 4,440 learners were enrolled in MPS and 97% of them were mainstreamed to primary schools. Most of these children have been studying to the grades corresponding where they supposed to be. Few learners have been studying in madrasas or kindergartens. According to the school records, the learners who are in primary schools after MPS are doing better than others. Although, they are the first generation learners, but they have no fear with the schools. From the FGDs with the parents it is learnt that they love to send their children in primary schools. The training which was rendered to the MPS facilitators was not adequate in one hand and on the other hand these were not systematic. There was supervision in the MPSs by Field facilitators, but MPS facilitators were not benefited from this kind of supervision. The textbook was not attractive to the learners and from interviewing the MPS facilitators it was found that they knew a very little about the early childhood development. Supply of teaching learning aids was also inadequate. It is true that the Imams moved to some extent towards early childhood development, but still they need more training. There were some initiatives for co-curricular activities in the MPSs which need to be expanded. Nine months after closing the MPSs, the CMCs have been found proactive. They were found very much concern about the financial contribution of the community in running the MPS. Two MPSs were reported as being run by the community.
This impact assessment has been ended with some recommendations. The intervention need to be continued in the villages where five years have not been completed. MPS should be clearly linked with the existing government curriculum for the pre-primary education. MPS facilitators should be well trained with structured training curriculum. There should be an online MIS system and it could be linked with Union Parishad Information Centre (UISC) so that facilitators can update the information on a regular basis. The MIS Cell should ensure appropriate monitoring and reporting system. Within the MPSs there should be a good networking system so that facilitators learn from each other. The learners who are enrolling in primary schools, they should be monitored by keeping contact with the teachers. A linkage and network need to be established with UISC of the local government which can keep record of all MPS learners of the respective union. For restarting MPS survey should be conducted to avoid overlapping. There should be a comprehensive phase out strategy to ensure sustainability. The MPS should have the opportunity to include the children with disabilities and children of all religions.
6. Comments from the organisation, if any: (this section to be filled by the staff responsible in SF’s Regional Office)