The focus of Nijera Shikhi shifted from Adult literacy to child education when
there was a Government embargo on adult literacy programmes with foreign funding.
Nijera Shikhi decided that in order to achieve the targets of Education for
All (EFA) it needed to concentrate on primary education, prevent drop out rates and attract the deprived communities towards education. Nijera Shikhi did some research and found that poor disadvantaged children from rural areas were put into school without the advantage of nursery or kindergarten preparatory schools and so began with a disadvantage compared to the other learners which held them back right from the start.
The main objective of PPE is to minimize the difference of education
standards between all the learners and to encourage an enthusiasm for education. About 30% of the learners in the pre primary course are admitted directly into Class II, and the rest into Class I.
Nijera Shikhi started its PPE program with 80 Pre-Primary learning centres as
the pilot project with 2400 learners in 1998, rising to a maximum of 1120
centres with 33,600 learners in 1999. The learning centre places are highly
sought after by the local people, a proof of the recognition of their importance in the communities where they are found. A happy, pleasant environment is created in these centres, increasing the numbers of children enrolling, minimizing the drop-out rate and to building a strong foundation for future learning in main stream schools.
This program runs with help of the Human Development Foundation (HDF) and the Bangladesh NGO foundation.
An independent evaluation of the PPE was performed by Dr Azharul Islam,
Professor, IER, Dhaka University. He found that the process of education for
deprived children and their mothers contributed greatly to achieving Education for All in Bangladesh. He suggested that PPE should be extended into rural Bangladesh.