Part One: Reading (14pts)
A) Comprehension (07pts)
Read the text carefully then do the activities.
Jibon is 12 years old and works at a fish market in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. He lives alone with his mother, who works in a garment factory. The little money Jibon makes is essential for the survival of his family. For this reason, Jibon dropped out of school after only the second grade. In all likelihood, he will never have the opportunity to go back to school. “I don’t have a father. My mother has to work, but her income is not enough for me to go to school,” Jibon says. “Yes, I want to go to school, but I cannot because we don’t have enough money.”
Jibon shares the same fate with millions of children in South Asia. According to a recent study on out-of-school children published by UNICEF and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics under the Global Out-of-School Children Initiative, 17 million children of primary-school age and 9.9 million children of lower secondary-school age are out of school in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – placing South Asia as the region with the second-highest number of out-of-school children in the world.
“If we believe that South Asia can be a prosperous part of the world where every child can contribute when they grew up, then learning is of importance,” says Karin Hulshof, Regional Director of the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia. Nevertheless, Poverty, gender, social and cultural norms, disabilities, conflict, natural disasters and inefficient education policies – all of these are factors keeping children out of school or pushing them to drop out early.
Governments in the region are starting to expand and strengthen alternative pathways to education for children. For example, in Bangladesh, local authorities are working with organizations such as BRAC, an international development NGO based in Bangladesh, which is targeting disadvantaged students left behind or pushed out from the formal education system. BRAC schools are free of charge and mostly situated in low-income neighbourhoods.
“We have to realize that, particularly in developing countries, it is just difficult, if not impossible, for the government to reach all the children and bring them back to school and provide them good quality education” says Safiqul Islam, Director of the BRAC Education Program. Ten-year old Mithila is a student in a BRAC school in Karail, one of Dhaka’s largest slums. In terms of educational opportunity, girls like Mithila are among the most disadvantaged in South Asia. “When I see other young girls like me who still do not go to school, I tell them about this school and I ask them to come here,” Mithila says.
Thanks to the second-chance education programme in Bangladesh, thousands of children have been given an opportunity to learn – and a chance to escape the cycle of poverty. “If we study, we can be successful in life, we can get better jobs,” says Mithila. “I want to study more to become a teacher in the future. I want to teach other poor children like me.
By Matthieu Cretté, -28 January 2014-
1. Say whether the following statements are true or false. Correct the false one(s).
a. South Asia has the second highest rate of school dropout in the world.
b. Inefficient education is said to be the main reason to children dropout.
c. Governments in developing countries manage to bring back children to school.
d. Both Jibon and Mithila study at a BRAC school.
2. Complete the following table.
3. Answer the following questions according to the text.
a. Why does Jibon feel obliged to work?
b. According to you, why are BRAC schools situated in low-income areas?
c. What are Mithila’s dreams?
d. Among the reasons to school dropouts stated in the text, which one do you think is the most important? Explain.
4. What or who do the underlined words refer to in the text?
a) all of these (§3) b) the region (§4) c) which (§4) c) them (§6)
5. Give a title to the text.
B) Text Exploration (07pts)
1. Find in the text words closest in meaning to the following.
a. subsistence (§1) - b. well-off (§3) - c. underprivileged (§5)
2. Find in the text words opposite in meaning to the following.
a. the lowest (§2) - b. to weaken (§4) - c. wealth (§6)
3. Which nouns can be derived from the following verbs?
a. to expand - b. to provide - c. to believe - d. to see
4. Give the correct form of the verbs in brackets.
The goal of the Out-of-School Children Initiative is to gather data about who out-of-school children are and what socio-cultural barriers (to keep) them out of school, and then to use the data to design policies that (to make) education for all a reality. “Without accurate data, we (can/not / to have) good policies and good interventions that (to help) to make sure that children realize their right to education in the nearest future,” explains Friedrich Huebler, Programme Specialist at the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.
5. Re-write sentence “B” so that it means the same as sentence “A”.
1. A) “My mother has to work, but her income is not enough for me to go to school. I want to go to school, but I cannot because we don’t have enough money,” Jibon said.
B) Jibon said that…………………………………….
2. A) It is difficult for developing countries’ governments to reach all those out-of-school children.
B) It is difficult for all those………………………………………………………
3. A) Why don’t you join the BRAC School in our area?
B) If I …………………………………………..
6. Classify the following words according to the stressed syllable.
family– statistics – government – situation
On the 1st syllable
On the 2nd syllable
On the 3rd syllable
7. Fill in the gaps so that the passage makes sense.
According to new data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), 67 million children were out of school globally during the school year ending in 2009. This figure has been falling, especially ….1…. 2000, when the international community reinforced commitments to achieve universal primary ….2…... Since then, the share of out-of-school children of primary school age has ….3….. from 16% to 10%. In addition, …..4….. to improve educational access for girls have yielded positive results. In 2009, girls accounted for 53% of children out of school compared to 57% in 2000.
Part Two: Written Expression (06pts)
Choose one of the following topics:
Either topic one: Using the following notes, write a composition of about 150-200 words on the following topic.
Many young people in Algeria drop out of school at an early age.
Causes: family problems like divorce – lack of communication – unemployment…
Consequences: delinquency – drugs – alcohol – prison…
Solutions: Which solutions would you suggest?
Or topic two:
Write a composition of about 150 – 200 words on the following topic.
Corruption is becoming a dangerous problem in our society. How could young people contribute
to get rid of this phenomenon?