Philippines: Floating schools teach indigenous children

A girl leaves a floating school in Bangladesh Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Floating schools, like this one in Bangladesh, are used to reach remote communities

Children from indigenous fishing tribes in the southern Philippines are learning to read and write thanks to floating schools, it's reported.

Seven villages have been allocated one floating school each to teach about 200 Bajau children in the remote island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, the Philippine Daily Inquirer website reports. One parent tells the website that as well as benefiting from an education, their children are no longer being short-changed when selling their catch in local markets. Some students had previously been bullied by other more dominant tribes, according to one teacher. "That is why many of them are afraid to enrol in regular schools or to venture outside their communities," Jennilyn Jumdani tells the website. But she says the school still faces challenges in communities where families require their children to help with fishing.

The floating schools are operated by the Bangladesh-based charity BRAC. They're docked along coastlines, particularly in island communities that are unable to contribute land or space to build a permanent school. Similar projects in Bangladesh and Nigeria have been nominated for design awards.

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