A joint initiative to expedite literacy skills among the children of garment workers

a group of children and adults
Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Studies from the Bangladesh Education Factsheet 2020 have shown that nine out of ten garment workers sent their children to school but only a third of the children in Grade 3 have the expected level of reading skills, and only one in five children have the expected level of numeracy skills. Most out-of-school children lack foundational skills in both areas, with only 25 percent have foundational reading skills and 14 percent have foundational numeracy skills. Due to this scenario, children are unable to enjoy their studies leading to significant dropouts.  World Vision Bangladesh conducted a reading assessment of grade three students in 52 primary schools and found only half of these respondents, read with comprehension.  

To help fix this challenge, World Vision Bangladesh promotes ‘Unlock Literacy’ model where children discover effective and new adaptation techniques. Unlock Literacy focuses on helping children improve five core skills of reading -- letter knowledge, sounding out words, reading fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Reading clubs are established in the community to ensure children have access to a variety of quality child-friendly books to borrow at reading club book banks. Parents are also empowered to promote learning at home. Throughout school closures during the pandemic, WVB continued to establish 179 more reading clubs in FY20 and 97 percent reported increased participation in improving literacy activities with household members.  

World Vision Bangladesh (WVB) recently partnered with Only the Brave Foundation – which houses brands like Diesel and Padma to scale up this approach among the worker's children from these organisations. The initiatives fall within the priority areas of both organisations and have the potential to bring positive and sustainable impacts in the lives of the factory workers, their children, and their surrounding communities. Through this pilot project, funding organisations aim to ensure children are reading and enhancing their future employability. This project will initially run for the next three years with a USD 140,522 funding to support 100 children. Gradually, it will expand to other areas within the urban program with more funding.   

If you have any comments, please write to:

Swapan Singh 

Manager Engagement- Corporate and Donor  

World Vision Bangladesh 



Dr. Rahul Mathew  

Deputy Director- Resource Department 

World Vision Bangladesh