S U S T A I N
Support Urban Slum Children to Access Inclusive Non-Formal Education (SUSTAIN)

Project Summary:

The SUSTAIN project reflects the global objective that helped to achieve the MDG 2 in Bangladesh by increasing the net enrolment rate from 73.7% to 100% and as well as reducing primary school dropout rates from 38% to 0%. There is presently a significant gap between the provision of primary education in rural and urban non-slum and slum areas. It is pertinent to mention here that the slum children, especially working children are extremely marginalized and deprived of sufficient basic education opportunities. Therefore the project aims to address the needs of basic education for hardest to reach working children in urban slums. Different study shows that a target-group specific approach to this group of children is necessary for increasing their access to quality basic education. The direct contribution of the project will be the enrolment of 5600 hardest to reach out-of-school urban working children into non-formal primary education (NFPE) and 1800 children who are at risk of becoming working children into pre-primary (PPE). It is envisaged that at least 80% of the NFPE students will pass the grade 5 final examinations and that 99% of the pre-primary students will graduate into grade 1 of primary schools and continue their education. The project’s outcomes will therefore be in line with the goal of increased enrolment and retention rate of the Government of Bangladesh (GoB). The action also aims to the efficient use of resources through accelerated government curriculum and using the compounds and teachers for different batches of children. The project is intended to document the comprehensive project learnings and share with a wider audience for further scale-up.


Funded by:

The European Union (EU) has been proving the financial support to the project through the Save the Children International (SCI).


Overall Objective: To increase equal access to quality basic education in a safe learning environment for hardest to reach children in urban slums of Dhaka and Chittagong and mainstream students into the formal education system or into other educational alternatives.

Specific Objective 1: Increased access to and completion of child-friendly pre-primary (PPE) and non-formal primary education (NFPE) has been achieved for hardest to reach urban working children or those at risk of becoming working children.

Specific Objective 2: Opportunities for continuing formal or non-formal education beyond the provision of basic education have been increased for the hardest to reach urban working children or those at risk of becoming working children.

Specific Objective 3: Inclusiveness and quality of primary education structures in the target area have been improved.


Target Group
  • 7400 urban working children or children at risk of becoming working children,
  • 4500 parents and
  • 625 employers of the children,
  • 14400 students,
  • 14400 students,
  • 48 SMCs and
  • 384 teachers from formal schools,
  • around 75 local government/ward officials

Working Area

Main Activities
  1. Provision of PPE and NFPE;

  2. Child clubs;

  3. Parenting education for guardians;

  4. Sensitisation of stakeholders on constraints of working children;

  5. Tutorial support for graduated students to access formal school system;

  6. Local level child-led advocacy;

  7. Documentation of best practices

Specific Activities:
  1. Meetings of the Project Management Steering Committee (PMSC) with children/ student representatives.

  2. Development of guidelines, manuals and tools based on the project's lessons learnt, best practices and methodologies

  3. Support to SHARE programme activities

  4. Selection of targeted pre-primary children and orientation for their guardians

  5. Running of pre-primary education centres and provision of pre-primary education

  6. Basic training and refresher sessions for pre-primary teachers :

  7. Provision of co-curricular activities

  8. Selection of targeted NFPE children and orientation for their guardians

  9. Running of NFPE centres and provision of NFPE education

  10. Basic training and refresher sessions for NFPE teachers

  11. Running of child clubs in pre-primary & NFPE compounds/catchment areas and facilitation of peer learning and after school support for PPE & NFPE students in child clubs

  12. Refresher Training sessions for child club facilitators on the UNCRC, teaching and learning facilitation

  13. Provision of life skills trainings for NFPE students

  14. Coaching support for students who participate in grade 5 final examination

  15. Conducting parenting education for guardians

  16. Organization of half-yearly group parent- PPE/NFPE teacher meetings

  17. Conducting of exchange and knowledge sharing days between project learning centres and formal school and education representatives

  18. After school tutorial support for graduated students

  19. Sensitization of formal school students on needs and constraints of graduated students

  20. Sensitization sessions for formal school headmasters, teachers and SMCs

  21. Training for NFPE students on child led advocacy methodologies

  22. Development of BCC/ICC materials for child led advocacy

  23. Facilitation of awareness campaigns, sessions and actions at urban level through NFPE students

  24. Child led assessment on tuition fee reduction

  25. Development of participatory monitoring and supervision tools and guidelines

  26. Training and refresher for CMC members on UNCRC, their roles as CMC members and the use of monitoring guidelines and tools

  27. Facilitation of monthly CMC meetings

  28. Development of student profile for tracing and evaluating their learning progress

  29. Provision of information box in each PPE & NFPE centre

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