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Component 1.3

Sub-Component 1.3: Developing the Reading Habit (Total: BDT 2691. 00 lakh equivalent to US$ 3.90 million)

The objective of this subcomponent is to help the students of project area in developing their reading habits. In Bangladesh, there is very few Government and non-Government specialized organizations that are fostering reading habits of the young generation. The Government is very eager to setting up reading program at school level to inculcate reading habits of the students and thereby nurture all the domains of the student However to implement this sub-component, the project will develop partnership with an experienced, reputed and specialized organization and execute the reading habit program in a phased way in about 4,500 project educational institutions (65%), focusing on those schools which have required number of students and facilities.

The Reading habits program will be an integrated one focusing on community, parent, teacher, student, SMC, PTA, social elites and local management. To implement the program different types of orientation sessions, distribution of books to the institutions, setting up of reading program at classroom level, simple test of knowledge, Book Prize/Award incentive etc will be initiated. This program will be framed with a view to securing long-term support for inculcating reading habit among the students. The planned activities under this sub-component are as follows :

(a) Setting up of a reading program at school level for grades 6–10 students keeping track with the school routine after or before school hour or during holiday;

(b) Provision of 192 copies of age and ability appropriate books for each project school;

(c) Storage facilities for books (Shelve/Almirrah/ Trunk will be provided on the basis of requirement of the project school);

(d) Training will be provided for the in-charge teacher/librarians as Reading Program Organizer for effective operation of the library as well as reading program;

(e) Simple test on knowledge earned by the students on prescribed books will be conducted at the end of the academic year; and

(f) Book Prize/Award incentive will be given to the students selected on the basis of some criteria, through a ceremony at the Upazilla level in every academic year.

(g) The library/ reading fund will be generated with the contribution of Tk. 10.00 per year per student/teacher which will be used as an operating cost of this program.

Expected direct outputs:

• Approximately 400,000 students in 4500 schools would be enrolled as book readers in 121 Upazillas

• Each enrolled reader will read 16-21 general books in Bangla per year

• Each enrolled student will read 4 English books per year in classes 6-8

• Each enrolled student will read 6 English books per year in classes 9-10

Expected outcomes:

• Classroom learning strengthened

• Exposure to social diversity and openness of mind created

• Skills of communication and competitiveness increased

• Strong sense of universal value- respect for individuals, freedom of expression, democratic values created

• Awareness of corruption, drug trafficking, violence against women created and the concomitant need for improved governance understood.

The administration of this sub-component would involve several categories of stakeholder, particularly District and Upazilla level officials, teachers, SMCs, PTAs, and local civil society members. Therefore, the services of a specialized agency would require to be outsourced. Given the dynamic and heterogeneous activities under this sub-component the specialized organization should have the ability to perform the following tasks:

• Mobilization of resources including staff

• Training and orientation

• Identification and selection of school (school identification; data collection and assessment; organizing motivational workshop; selection )

• Organizer Training

• Student motivation and member /reader selection

• Distribution of program materials

• Book processing ( Book entry and Jacketing)

• Distribution of books

• Book lending

• Program monitoring, follow up and reporting

• Student/ reader evaluation ( for assessing and awarding prizes)

• Procurement of books (for prize)

• Prize distribution

• Evaluation of the sub-component

The project authority will develop the ToR for outsourcing the organization which will be approved by the Inter-ministerial Steering Committee. Given the complex implementation modality of the sub-component a renowned organization of the country would be selected based on the following criteria:

a) at least 10 years experience in conducting book reading program among students ;

b) experience of conducting the book reading program in at least 1000 secondary schools; and

c) having established reader evaluation system.

In doing so, the feasibility of contracting out this sort of organization through single source method may be explored after having been consented by the Steering Committee.

The successful organization needs to establish a system of monthly monitoring as part of its internal monitoring system and following which, comprehensive reports on quarterly and annually to be submitted to the SEQAEP Unit , MEW and other concerned. In this regard, a baseline survey reflecting the pre-project situation will be established for having the practicalities of the project schools and that will be reviewed during mid-term and evaluation to be undertaken at the end. Based on age- and ability, the books will be selected by the Project Steering Committee.