For the last two decades, Bangladesh has made considerable progress in improving access to education at all levels. Despite these gains, the country continues to face challenges from student dropout at the secondary level. Girls drop out of school earlier than boys because of child marriage. Targeted policies and interventions designed to improve educational attainment and decrease child marriage may be an effective and sustainable way to address both issues. The Population Council implemented an intervention research study to test a life-skills and tutoring support model to reduce school dropout among secondary-school girls and enhance livelihood skills for unmarried girls who have dropped out of school, with the goal of delaying marriage. This project is part of UNICEF’s Education for Adolescents and UNFPA-UNICEF's Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage. As noted in this brief, the study tested the BALIKA project in intervention schools for scale-up. In the intervention schools, a blend of remedial educational support to in-school girls, soft-skills-based livelihood training for out-of-school girls, strengthening school management committees, community mobilization, and school improvement activities are being tested.
"Keeping girls in schools to reduce child marriage in rural Bangladesh—Program brief." Dhaka: Population Council, 2020.
BALIKA (Bangladeshi Association for Life Skills, Income, and Knowledge for Adolescents)