Meena, a positive role model for Bangladeshi children
Primary school students, teachers, parents and Government officials sat together and filled the Bangladesh Institute of Administrative Management auditorium with laughter. A Meena puppet show on center stage about access to school held everyone’s attention in the room.
“These students were born with Meena” says one teacher. “She is a big part of our school and family life in Bangladesh. The students love Meena.”
This year’s Meena Day was marked by the launch of four new Meena TV spots and episodes. These new Meena cartoons, produced with UNICEF support, promote equal participation in education, teacher's positive role, love of books and child-friendly school environment.
Bangladesh has one of the largest primary education systems in the world with an estimated 16.5 million primary school aged children (6 to 10 years) and approximately 364,494 Teachers (147,390 women) and 81,434 primary schools.
The country has made significant progress towards achieving universal primary education and gender parity in schools with the Net Enrollment Rate in Primary School reaching 91%. Meena Day this year highlighted the need for quality improvements in primary schools focusing on vulnerable groups who are currently not enrolled or who drop out of school. Current vulnerable groups include children with disabilities or special needs, children living in urban slums or in remote rural areas, working children, children from very poor families and from ethic minorities, and refugee children; all groups would benefit if schools were more inclusive and child-friendly.