Bangladesh has made remarkable gains in the past 20 years in increasing access to education, especially at the primary level and for girls. The country’s net enrolment rate at the primary school level increased from 80% in 2000 to 95% in 2017, and secondary school net enrolment is 62%, up from 45% in 2000 (UNESCO, 2018). The percentage of children completing primary school is 80%, and Bangladesh has achieved gender parity in access. A number of challenges remain, however, relating to the quality of education provided. National learning assessments conducted by the government of Bangladesh show poor literacy and numeracy skills among students in Grades 5 and 8. The curriculum focuses more on rote learning than on competencies, critical thinking and analytical skills, reducing the government’s ability to attract higher-paying employers by providing highly skilled workers. According to the 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report (ibid.), educational provision has failed to match the massive expansion of slums, and only a quarter of slums have a government school.
This brief draws on evidence from Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) – a unique longitudinal mixed methods research and impact evaluation study focused on what works to support the development of adolescents’ capabilities during the second decade of life (10–19 years).
Mitu, K., Ala Uddin, M., Camfield, L. and Muz, J. (2019) ‘Adolescent education and learning in Chittagong, Bangladesh.’ Policy Note. London: Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence. (https://www.gage.odi.org/publication/adolescent-education-and-learning-in-chittagong-bangladesh/)