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Education in Bangladesh

The Bangladeshi education system is one of the largest in the world with 21.9 million children in kindergartens and primary schools. Education spending accounts for 14.4% of national budget, which correspond to 2% of GDP.

The government of Bangladesh developed several policy documents, which outline the country’s guiding principles and directions for education. The Third Primary Education Development Program (PEDP-3) is one of those and highlights four priority areas that aim to:

  1. Establish an integrated school system encompassing pre-school to higher secondary levels under a framework that unifies public, NGO and private providers.
  2. Ensure quality improvement through reduced class size and improved teaching practices.
  3. Decentralize primary education administration and management.
  4. Engage in partnerships with NGOs and the private sector.

The PEDP-3 is a six year, sector wide program covering Grades I through V and one year of pre-primary education. The objective is to establish an efficient, inclusive, and equitable primary education system delivering effective and relevant child-friendly learning to all Bangladesh’s children from pre-primary through Grade V primary.

The PEDP-3outlines six results areas:

  1. Learning outcomes
  2. Participation
  3. Reducing disparities
  4. Decentralization of school level planning
  5. Effective use of budget allocations
  6. Program planning and management

Results in these areas are achieved through activities in twenty-nine subcomponents. Most activities affect all primary schools in Bangladesh. Some activities reach out to all primary school age children whether they participate in formal or non-formal education.

The expected outcomes of the PEDP-3 include:

  • All children acquire expected grade-wise and subject-wise learning outcomes or competencies in the classroom.
  • All children participate in pre-primary and primary education in all types of schools
  • Regional and other disparities will be reduced in terms of participation, completion and learning outcomes


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent
Program implementation 2016-2018 100,000,000 57,500,000 IBRD
Program development 2015 100,000 0 IBRD
  TOTAL 100,100,000 57,500,000  


Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.


Primary Gross Enrollment Rate (%)

Primary Completion Rate (%)

Lower Secondary Completion Rate (%)

Out-of-school Children Rate (%)

Domestic Financing

Public Expenditure on Education as Share of GDP (%)

Public Expenditure on Education as a Share of Public Expenditure (%)

Public Expenditure on Primary as a Share of Total Education Expenditure (%)


Student/Trained teacher ratio

Teachers Trained (%)

GPE in Bangladesh

The PEDP3 is a US$9.8 billion program financed by the government and development partners. The GPE grant of US$100 million contributes to implementation of the entire program as budget support. The grant agent is the World Bank. The grant is disbursed according to periodical assessment of 9 disbursement linked indicators, which are:

  1. Production and distribution of textbooks
  2. Teachers with diploma in primary education
  3. Grade 5 primary examination completion exam strengthened
  4. Teacher recruitment and deployment
  5. Pre-primary education
  6. Needs-based infrastructure development
  7. Decentralized school management and governance
  8. Sector finance
  9. Annual primary school census

(See from page 28 of the program document for a full list of indicators with annual targets)

The ministry chairs the Education – Local Consultative Groups in Bangladesh, which plays a leading role in engaging citizens and communities.

Source: World Bank program document. 2014


The GPE grant has contributed to the following significant results:

  • 97.96% children are enrolled in primary education in 2017 compared to 84.70% in 2010
  • The primary cycle completion rate increased from 54.85% in 2010 to 80.80% in 2017
  • A system for learning assessment at the primary level is operational
  • 90% of schools prepared school level improvement plans and received funds in 2016 compared to 27% in 2010
  • 99% of schools have received textbooks within the first month of each academic year
  • The percentage of schools that meet minimum quality standards per Primary School Quality Level Indicators has increased from 17% in 2010 to 32.80% in 2017
  • 24,005 additional classrooms were built or rehabilitated at the primary level
  • 51% of Upazilas have prepared Upazila Education Plans and received funds in 2017 compared to 25% in 2016
  • 2,032 additional qualified primary teachers were recruited or trained.

Source: World Bank Implementation Status and Results Report. June 2017

Last updated February 26, 2018