NFPE Schools

In hard-to-reach areas, which suffer from regular and severe flooding and where no other access to primary education is possible for the children of the poorest families, so called NFPE schools are established; NFPE stands for “non-formal primary education". The teachers are supported through professional supervision and pedagogical guidance. Though called “non-formal” as the schools are run by an NGO, the grade-specific subjects are taught based on the government curricula. Furthermore the students participate in the official final examination for primary schools at the end of class 5, which enables them to continue their education at a public high school. Regular trainings qualify teachers for dealing with special educational needs of disadvantaged children. At present the village-level NFPE schools are the only way to bring quality education to these remote areas of the country.

Key features of NFPE schools

The main objective of NFPE schools is to enable the children, especially girls, of the poorest families with a perspective to learn how to read, write and calculate and to complete the official primary school syllabus.

Key features are:

  • NFPE schools are operated by the same teachers for the same group of children for the entire primary education cycle and they deliver lessons in all subjects.
  • The students complete the official primary school syllabus, taught for five years at public schools, in a comprehensive 4-year cycle.
  • School timings are flexible and fixed according to needs of the children and their parents.
  • The students do not have to pay any fees.
  • Doctors provide basic health treatment to all students and if necessary for their siblings, including vaccinations and deworming.
  • During „Monga“, a famine-like period from October to November, supplementary food is provided to all students to strengthen and maintain their health and concentration.
  • Comprehensive trainings and close guidance and supervision ensure a child-centred education with high quality, to prevent dropouts and that teachers and students are not absent from classes
  • Government textbooks and additional child-friendly learning materials are provided free of cost to the teachers and students.
  • The girls and boys learn as well social values as well as their rights and responsibilities.
    Former NFPE students are supported by NETZ and our partner NGOs to ensure their further school carrier at local high schools.
  • The Government is convinced about the quality of education provided to our NFPE students. Therefore they are allowed to participate in the official final examination at the end of class 5.

Classes are conducted at six days a week, from Saturday to Thursday. Government holidays are followed like in other schools. The students attend school for three hours in classes 1 and 2, four hours in class 3 and five hours in classes 4 and 5. They learn Bengali, English, math, science and environmental studies as well as religion studies, following the government curricula and using supplementary learning materials.

Effectiveness of NFPE schools

Impressive indicators for the effectiveness of this intervention are the very low dropout rates at NFPE schools (5-10%) compared to public schools (40-45%) and the excellent passing rates of NFPE students in the official final examination, which is well ahead of students at public schools, who completed primary education taking an additional year.

More than 95% of the students at the NFPE schools operated by NETZ and our partner NGOs pass the official examination at the end of class 5!

Education – a key for sustainable development

Completing primary education at an NFPE school enables the children to learn how to read, write and calculate, which are keys for sustainable development, empowerment and to overcome poverty. The Government of Bangladesh appreciates the importance of non-formal education, especially with regard to remote areas and children from the poorest families, to achieve universal primary education for all children (MDG 2). In the particular context of Bangladesh NFPE schools play a crucial role, as every third primary school is a non-formal school. But this can only be an intermediate solution. Our objective is to enable all children to access improved public schools – or to visit an Anandalok School, which provide continuous access to education for new generations of students from the same villages. But this development takes time. Still more than 3 million children have no access to primary education! In the meanwhile no girl or boy should be denied access to primary education – until the government and local communities close the existing gap in the education sector.

In all villages where NETZ and our partner NGOs run NFPE schools a close interaction with local education authorities and community leaders is conducted during the 4-year cycle of education on the special needs of disadvantaged children. The objective is to enhance the coverage of public schools and to establish new education opportunities for children from the poorest families to access primary education. During the end of a NFPE cycle a comprehensive assessment is conducted to elicit to specific local needs. For children who still do not have access to public schools or an Anandalok School a new NFPE cycle might be required.

Right to education

Right to education

With a donation of only 54 euros, you give one child the chance to go to school.


Anastasia Rau

Programme Officer
Phone: 0(049) 64 41 - 9 74 63-20