The World Bank will give $6.5 million to the government to finance primary education of slum children and pre-vocational training of youths, who have dropped out of school, in Cox's Bazar.
The concessional credit will benefit as many as 39,000 children between 8 and 14 years and 8,500 youths, according to an agreement signed on Monday.
Fatima Yasmin, secretary of Economic Relation Division, and Mercy Miyang Tembon, country director of the World Bank, Dhaka signed the agreement, according to a press release.
The fund will be used under a project called Reaching Out of School Children (ROSC II).
Under the project, about 690,000 children -- almost half of them girls -- studied in learning centers, known as Ananda schools, in the poorest upazilas. Around 1,300 such learning centers have also been set up in slums of eight city corporations, including Dhaka, where about 48,000 children are enrolled now.
At Ananda schools, a single class teacher teaches students until they are ready to take Grade 5 examinations.
Mercy Miyang Tembon said the pandemic had disproportionately impacted education of children from poor households. The fund will help slum children and vulnerable youths build the foundations for better opportunities.
Fatima said the Bangladesh government was committed to ensuring education for all.
"Today, almost all children in Bangladesh steps into a school," she said.
Since 2019, the ROSC II project expanded its coverage to provide learning opportunities and psycho-social support to about 350,000 Rohingya children in Teknaf and Ukhia Upazila in Cox's Bazar. Moreover, 16,500 Bangladeshi youths have received skill-development training and job placement support.
This project has been extended up to June, 2021, implemented by the Directorate of Primary Education under the primary and mass education ministry.
The credit from the World Bank's International Development Association involves 0.75% service charge and an interest of 1.25%. It is repayable in 30 years with a grace period of five years. A maximum commitment charge of 0.50% is imposed on undisbursed amount, which is usually waived by the Executive Board of the International Development Association.