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A mix of entertainment and information promotes girls’ education in Bangladesh

Dhaka, July 11, 2007:  “Alo Amar Alo”, a 26-episode television drama serial that promotes girls’ education in Bangladesh, was launched this morning at the Sheraton Hotel. The first episode will be broadcast at 8:30 pm, July 18th on BTV.
'Alo Amar Alo', centers around a girl named ‘Alo’ who stops going to school when she completes Class-V. Throughout 26 episodes the story follows Alo as she struggles to overcome life’s challenges through the support and friendship of a renowned actress.
The drama serial not only aims to highlight the importance of girls’ education but also to speed up the progress towards the Millennium Development Goals with the hope that gender disparity in primary and secondary education will be eliminated by 2015.
Produced by the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education with support from UNICEF, “Alo Amar Alo” was launched by Mr. Ayub Quadri, Advisor, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education and Ministry of Cultural Affairs.
The serial was written by popular playwright Anisul Huq and directed by Abul Hayat, a well known drama and theatre personality. It has a star-studded cast including Champa, Opi Karim, Tania Ahmed, Dolly Zahur, Zitu Ahsan, Fazlur Rahman Babu in the lead roles.
In the last decade, Bangladesh has recorded remarkable achievements in primary education with net and gross enrolments and completion rates all increasing by over 20 per cent. Girls’ enrolments increased by over 30 per cent. Net enrolment of girls is 84 per cent (compared to 81 per cent for boys).
However, 10 per cent of girls and 15 per cent of boys of the primary school age group have never been enrolled in school, and the poor quality of education is reflected in poor attendance, high repetition rates, high drop-out rates (37 per cent for girls and 38 per cent for boys) and low achievement. This results in just over a quarter of the girls of the age group completing primary education with a minimum level of the expected competencies.
The drama serial is part of a larger communication strategy which includes interactive popular theatre shows, folksong performances, wall paintings and Meena Communication Initiatives. These have been extremely effective in raising awareness on the value of education as well as reaching the remote corners of the country through the mass media. Parents have shown more willingness to send girls to school. The increase in the enrollment of girls has also been the impact of multiple awareness raising campaigns.

For more information, please contact:

Iftikhar Ahmed Chowdhury
Associate Communication Officer
UNICEF, Bangladesh
+ 880 2 9336701-10, Ext 392



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