Morshed Alam Sarkar, executive director of POPI, believes that regions facing the impacts of climate change should have a different academic calendar. He said that in the Har areas, children are unable to go to school during the harvesting season because they work in the crop fields.
His organization runs 13 floating schools in Haor areas. The government should come forward to increase the number of floating schools in the area. Also, there is a need for floating health clinics, he said.
Nishath Sultana, Director (Policy, Advocacy, Impact and Campaigns) of Plan International Bangladesh, said the impacts of climate change are leading to girls dropping out of school, being married early, increasing health risks, and women’s income. Opportunities are decreasing. And they are becoming victims of violence.
When poverty occurs, families withdraw their daughters from school to reduce expenses. He said that investment will have to be increased to keep girls in schools.
Shamima Siddiqui, education specialist at UNICEF Bangladesh, said UNICEF has adopted alternative curriculum keeping in mind the impacts of climate change.
Thus, the skills of girls who remain in schools will be made more proficient on locally available issues, while girls who have dropped out of school will be enabled through training to become self-reliant or involved in enjoyable work.
DRRA Advisor Swapna Reza, Founder and CEO Ritu Sharmin Kabir also spoke at the roundtable.
Delivering the inaugural address, Prothom Alo’s Associate Editor Abdul Qayyum said that due to high salinity levels in coastal areas, women have to find drinking water with difficulty. This has become a serious problem. Firoz Chaudhary, assistant editor of Prothom Alo, moderated the roundtable.