Boat Schools for Rural Children

EAC and BRAC are working in Bangladesh through the use of boat schools to break down the barriers that children face to accessing education in disaster prone and remote rural areas, where households are constrained due to challenging geographies and the negative consequences of extreme weather.

BRAC Floating Boat Schools

The BRAC floating schools
The BRAC Floating Schools aim to enroll 13,000 out of school children in primary schools on purpose-built boats. The hope is to build and equip 400 of these mobile classrooms through the partnership of EAC and BRAC.
There is a big need in Bangladesh
For 6-7 months each year, throughout the monsoon season, large sections of these areas are almost entirely covered by water. Children and teachers alike face difficulties in reaching schools. 42% of the villages in Sylhet have no primary schools.
BRAC supports young children get to school
BRAC is a global pioneer in education, currently operating the largest private, secular education system in the world. BRAC’s intervention is crucial in these areas where other donors have not significantly intervened. BRAC's intervention is crucial.
The hope is to create a community through the boat schools
Working together with local boat manufacturers, training of teachers, setting up of school committees with representatives from the community, parents, government and schools, BRAC aims to change mindsets.
There is a real need for boat schools
Through the partnership between BRAC and EAC, the hope is that the project will aim to get 7,750 young people into school each and every year.

The Boat Schools for Children project scales up BRAC’s current pilot program that uses purpose-built boats as schools to provide education in the Haor basin flood plain. The boats are designed as mobile classrooms to provide access to education to children who would otherwise be unable to enrol in school (42% of the villages in Sylhet, part of the Haor basin, have no primary schools, forcing children to attend schools outside their settlements. Compounding the issue are the area’s fragile transportation and communication networks that further hinder access to schools). 

The boat schools follow the standard BRAC education program in which students complete five grades of education in four years. The project is intended to impact 13,000 out of school children (OOSC) by enroling them into non-formal primary schools. Specific project activities include: training of local boat manufacturers; construction and equipping of 400 boats; selection and training of 500 teachers; and creating 400 School Management Committees with representatives from the community, schools, government, and parents.

BRAC has demonstrated strong implementation capability through similar programs and has many years of experience in scaling up new programs. Project sustainability will place focus on community engagement and ownership of its schools. Furthermore, each boat school is designed to last at least 20 years.


Project finished



Through the use of boat schools and single classroom urban schools, BRAC is working in partnership with EAC to increase access to education for children living in hard to reach areas of Bangladesh’s Haor flood plain, and in the slums of Bangladesh’s cities.




According to UNICEF, 40% of Bangladesh’s population is children and statistics indicate that 600,000 are out of school. To contribute to increased enrolment, we have forged partnerships in Bangladesh and are currently working on four project programs that extend over a period of 1 – 6 years. Upon completion our projects will contribute to the enrollment of more than 200,000 children.