by Marc Elvinger, Chairperson, Friendship Luxembourg
”To systematically measure the changes that occurred in children due to the implementation of Friendship Education Program’s extracurricular activities, we incorporated a component called ‘Empathy and Awareness’ in the achievement test. The item was divided into three sub-components: respecting gender-related issues, personal beliefs, and awareness about social issues. The results show that Friendship students scored better than non-Friendship students did in all three components”.
Of all the good news arising from the external evaluation by the Institute for Education and Research (IER) of Dhaka University, this is certainly the one that made me most happy – along with the finding that the exceptional attendance rate of our students was directly linked to the fact that our schools offered them a “punishment free space”.
Whereas we already knew that our students excel in exams compared to national averages, it is still good to have this confirmed by independent evaluators, who in addition confirmed that the better marks achieved in the exams do indeed correspond to a higher level of knowledge in all subjects.
One more point I want to make here, while inviting you to download the summary document and the full report for more details, is that it highlights the fact that the strong sense of ownership of the Friendship schools by the communities is a major factor in their success, and, conversely, that the schools have an impact upon these communities that goes far beyond simply providing students with a quality formal education. This synergetic effect and the resulting virtuous circle are not features solely of Friendship’s Education program, but are characteristic of all its interventions.
Thanks to its donors and to the Luxembourg Cooperation, Friendship Luxembourg has been providing significant support to this program for more than 10 years and it is therefore a source of great satisfaction to see its exemplary nature confirmed by an independent evaluation. Far from now resting on its laurels, the Friendship team in Bangladesh has already developed a detailed action plan aimed at implementing most of the recommendations made in the report.
Some of these recommendations, such as increasing the number of beneficiary communities, expanding the secondary school network and working more closely with the authorities to build on the ‘model’ that Friendship has developed, of course require the mobilization of additional resources!
Chairman Friendship Luxembourg